Several days after my arrival in Timor Leste, Brother Jimmy with some locals from Maliana, including myself visited the Saburai village. From the very start of the village to the very end is about two hours walk, and much of it is quite steep with an untarred road consisting of anything from loose stones to thick mud. Housing in the village is mostly grass roofed huts or houses with handmade stone walls. There are a few made from block walls and corrugated iron roofs but these are not common. The village lacks running water, power or drainage. The community is reliant on seasonal cropping with cassava, peanuts and maize being the predominant annual crops.
There are no formal shops, medical facilities or pharmacy outlets. Patients diagnosed with leprosy live with their families and now receive antibiotics delivered to them by the brothers. These antibiotics supplied free by World Health Organisation (WHO) are specific to the leprosy bacterium and must be taken daily for a minimum of 12 months. Since the arrival of the brothers to Maliana and their assistance with delivery of antibiotics, the leprosy cases who are receiving the antibiotics are now in remission.
In addition, the brothers regularly monitor for new leprosy cases, and weekly provide food packages and supplies to the lepers and other community members. Malnutrition and skin diseases are a major problem within the community, both related to poor nutrition and hygiene. Moreover, chewing betel nut is widespread in the community and this may pose some health risk.
Overall, the brothers aim is to assist the members of the Saburai community by improving their nutrition, health and eliminating leprosy.
The next post will perhaps wrap it up for the Timor Leste visit, with a posting of the Christmas celebration with the children of Saburai including gift and food distribution. We hope that you have enjoyed this post and..
We will see you next time…!!!!
With every blessing
Trevor and Tina
Br Jimmy greeting leprosy patient (now in remission)
Monthly foil of leprosy antibiotics
Perhaps one family
Our helpers for the day from Maliana
Mother has leprosy
The season’s supply of maize
Chewing betel nut
One of the lepers (in remission) with grandson
Like this from birth
Community work together in construction of houses
Breaking rocks for house buiding
Even ladies work to build houses
Some terracing for maize
Just to prove I was there