Press Release – Timor-Leste

Jul 18, 2017

The City of Moonee Valley donates mobile phones to Liquica Municipality for use in the Liga Inan, mHealth program.

Liquica, Timor-Leste, July 13 2017

On 13 July 2017, Health Alliance International had the honour of handing over a donation of 33 mobile phones on behalf of the City of Moonee Valley, Australia to the Liquica Municipality Administrator, Mr. Domingos da Conceneao do Santos.  The phones were donated under the friendship city relationship, to help health providers improve the health of mothers and babies as part of the Liga Inan (Connecting Mothers) mHealth Program.  Liga Inan is an innovative approach to connecting pregnant women to information and to the health providers who serve them by means of mobile phones, through text messaging and facilitated voice communication.

Mrs. Apolonia dos Santos, Director of Health for Liquica Municipality hands over smart phones donated by the City of Moonee Valley, Australia to Liquica Municipality for use in the Liga Inan

The Liga Inan Program started in 2013 in Manufahi Municipality through a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Health Alliance International, and Catalpa International with financial support of United States Agency for International Development.  Since 2014, the Australian Government has funded expansion of Liga Inan into seven additional municipalities and the Ministry of Health has a commitment to sustain the Liga Inan Program within its primary health care package.

Liga Inan started in Liquica in August 2014 and to date more than 4,500 mothers have registered for the program across 27 health facilities, many of them in remote parts of the municipality.  At the handover ceremony the Director of Health of Liquicia, Mrs. Apolonia dos Santos said, “We want to thank the City of Moonee Valley for their generous donation which will help the Liga Inan Program to continue to make a big difference to improving the health of mothers and babies in Liquica.  The Liquica Health Department is committed to managing the Liga Inan Program at a high quality,  however the network of smart mobile phones, which health providers rely on to deliver this service, are now more than three years old.  We are increasingly seeing breakdowns of the phones and this has an impact on their ability to deliver the Liga Inan Program.”  Mrs. Santos went on to say, “These donated phones from the City of Moonee Valley, will mean that the Liga Inan Program will continue to be able to provide the highest quality service to mothers in Liquica.  We are very happy to see that the Liga Inan mHealth program is bringing many more mothers to health services for antenatal care, deliveries, and postnatal care.  It’s amazing to see how communication through mobile phones can play an important part in helping health providers to support mothers, babies, and families to be healthy in Liquica.”

In a pre-recorded message played at the Handover Ceremony the Mayor of Moonee Valley, Councilor Andrea Surace said, “Moonee Valley City Council’s friendship city relationship with the Liquica Municipality in Timor-Leste dates back to 2003 and the Council has been proud to support a number of projects and fundraising initiatives over this time. We are delighted to support this program and hope that our contribution provides positive health outcomes for mothers and babies in Timor-Leste. On behalf of Moonee Valley City Council I wish all those involved with the program every success and look forward to receiving updates on the progress of the program.”

The Liga Inan Program aims to improve women’s knowledge of healthy behaviors before, during and after childbirth.  An impact evaluation undertaken in 2015 showed that in places where Liga Inan was implemented, women had twice the odds of delivering with a skilled birth attendant and delivering in a health facility, women had seven times the odds of having a post-partum check-up within two days after their delivery, and their babies had more than five times the odds of a having a post-natal checkup within two days after birth.

If you want further information about the Liga Inan Program contact:

 

Paul Vasconcelos, Health Alliance International paul.vasconcelos@healthallianceinternational.org

www.healthallianceinternational.org

 

Gabriela Leite-Soares, Catalpa International,

gabriela@catalpa.io

https://www.catalpa.io

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