It is often hard to decide what to highlight from all the news coming in from the Ryder-Cheshire Homes in Australia, India and East Timor.
However, one item that stands out for a number of reasons is the recent opening of the Multi Drug Resistant-TB (MDR-TB) office at Klibur Domin in East Timor. It stands out because this is such an important and much needed facility, and it also stands out because it reminds us of the battle against TB, including MDR-TB, which is being waged on so many fronts around the world.
The inauguration ceremony and blessing for the MDR-TB office was held in October 2013, and it was fortunate that Peter Newton, the president of Ryder-Cheshire Australia and a board member of Klibur Domin, was able to be present.
Another important visitor was Fr Ted Burns, who performed the blessing. Fr Burns and the Parishes of Holy Cross and St Joseph’s in Caulfield Victoria, are all generous donors to the TB services at Klibur Domin. Also present was Kees Sprenger, a professional photographer, who made a wonderful photographic record of the occasion. All the photos on this page were taken by Kees and we are grateful to him for allowing us to use them.
Klibur Domin plays a vital role in the providing detection, treatment and education services for people with all forms of TB. It has laboratory and hospital facilities for the treatment of inpatients, and has an outreach team which can work in both the local area and in more remote areas. Klibur Domin is also rapidly developing a reputation as a leader in the fight against MDR-TB in East Timor and the surrounding areas of South East Asia. In all this work Klibur Domin cooperates closely with the National TB Program (NTB) in East Timor, and also receives funding, monitoring and other support from a UK based organisation called Target TB. It is interesting to note that Target TB was formed a few years ago when the Ryder-Cheshire Foundation in the UK voted it’s self out of existence and took up this new name and new focus on the eradication of TB. (Sue Ryder homes and shops, Leonard Cheshire Homes and Ryder-Cheshire Homes still operate as separate entities in the UK).
The relatively recent appearance of MDR –TB has ‘upped the ante’ in the continuing battle against the old enemy of TB. Now we all share the spectre of a world with limited answers to MDR-TB and the other multi drug resistant diseases that are appearing in many changing and pernicious forms. Against this background, the staff and volunteers at Klibur Domin are doing wonderful work to bring treatment, education and care to TB suffers in the new and developing nation of East Timor. They deserve our continuing admiration and support as they work toward the relief of suffering in the battle against TB.
All photographs in this article © Kees Sprengers/Klibur Domin