Timor-Leste health clinics to get satellite connectivity

Installation of VSAT terminal at SAMES, Dili. Image courtesy of Kacific.

Remote and rural health clinics across Timor-Leste will soon be connected to high speed satellite internet, providing them access to newly launched AdenBox, an online portal to manage medicines and medical equipment, as well as AdenCare, the country’s central medical records database, according to a press release.

The internet connection, supplied by Kacific Broadband Satellites Group (Kacific) and distributed by local company Gardamor Internet Services (Gardamor) and the Ministry of Health, will enable the launch and expansion of the healthcare software to more than 75 health centres covering all of Timor-Leste by July 2018.

“Timor-Leste is consolidating all the work done to improve the healthcare sector over the last sixteen years,” says Minister of Health, Rui Maria de Araújo. “The internet connection is crucial in helping us achieve the ultimate goal of using healthcare software in real time. Timor-Leste will be able to manage its medical resources more efficiently to benefit patients.”

The central distribution centre for medicine in Timor-Leste, SAMES, installed its first small-scale satellite dish on 15 June, to connect with pharmacies and health clinics throughout the country via AdenBox. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is supplying 300 laptops for health professionals to access online programmes.

“In Timor-Leste there have been issues with stockouts and distribution of vital medicines,” says Dr Rajesh Pandav, WHO representative for Timor-Leste. “A good quality internet connection is essential for the web-based tool introduced by SAMES to manage logistical supplies.”

“We have experience in delivering tele-medicine networks in the Pacific and understand the barriers, such as geography, resources, and education, that communities face in accessing the internet,” says Christian Patouraux, CEO Kacific. “We look forward to seeing the difference this connectivity will bring to people in Timor-Leste.”

“To make a difference for all Timor-Leste’s people, the internet connection needs to be available wherever people live. Our service gives communities in rural locations the same high speed, good quality and low-cost internet connection as people in Dili,” says Eduardo Belo Soares-Gattot, CEO Gardamor.

The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste is in a mountainous region of South East Asia, with settlements spread across the country’s main land mass and Atauro island. When the Kacific-1 satellite launches in late 2019, Timor-Leste’s health clinics and pharmacies will be upgraded to receive an “even faster broadband connection from the new satellite”, claims the press release.

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