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

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IMG_0631 No 3 local school

Local school

IMG_0636 No 4 local town water supply

Town water

IMG_0641 No 5 greeting leprosy coming good with treatment

Br Jimmy greeting leprosy patient (now in remission)

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IMG_0646 No 7 Post leprosy

Post leprosy

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Monthly foil of leprosy antibiotics

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IMG_0663 No 10 Perhaps just one family

Perhaps one family

IMG_0666 No 11 Our helpers for the day from Maliana

Our helpers for the day from Maliana

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IMG_0679 No 15 A leper family

Mother has leprosy

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IMG_0687 No 18 The season's supply of maize

The season’s supply of maize

IMG_0690 No 19 Chewing betel nut

Chewing betel nut

IMG_0696 No 20 Grinding maize, a staple food

Milling maize

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IMG_0714 No 23 One of the lepers who is in remission holding his grandson

One of the lepers (in remission) with grandson

IMG_0716 No 24 lke this fro birth

Like this from birth

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Community work together in construction of houses

IMG_0815 Breaking rocks for building houses

Breaking rocks for house buiding

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Even ladies work to build houses

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Collecting water

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Some terracing for maize

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Just to prove I was there