Dr Jack Richards, Dr Afonso de Almeida, Head of Research at UNTL and Dr James Beeson.
Burnet Institute has strengthened ties with Timor-Leste (East Timor) with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The MoU which was signed at an official ceremony held in Dili last week, formally acknowledges the Burnet Institute’s commitment to helping develop health research and education with the Institute and the National University of Timor-Leste (Universidade Nacionale Timor Lorosa’e, UNTL).
Officials present at the ceremony included the President of Timor-Leste José Ramos-Horta, Deputy Prime Minister José Luis Guterres , former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, UNTL Rector Professor Aurélio Guterres, and the Dean of Medicine, Professor João Martins.
Burnet Institute representation included Centre for Immunology Head, Dr James Beeson and Dr Jack Richards.
Dr Beeson said the past 12 years has seen a period of recovery and rebuilding in Timor-Leste and there is a sense of great optimism for the future.
“We will be working with UNTL on important research projects including malaria, HIV and other infectious diseases, child and maternal health, and nutrition.
These activities also require adequate laboratory capacity for the support of clinical research and public health programs, and we will be helping to build capacity in these areas,” Dr Beeson said.
The ceremony also coincided with the graduation of the first medical students to be trained solely in Timor-Leste.
Dr Richards said the Institute would assist in the further development of a post-graduate Master of Public Health program at UNTL.
“This will assist the further education and training of the health workforce of Timor-Leste, including those working in the Ministry of Health, and health service providers like doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals”, he said.
To further strengthen the partnership with the Burnet Institute, Dr Afonso de Almeida, Head of Research at UNTL, was awarded an appointment as an Honorary Associate at Burnet to facilitate future activities. Burnet has also been successful in a tender to deliver further training in sexual and reproductive health.