22 January 2009

Fretilin waging brutal campaign against AMP Government by falsely reporting deaths of premature babies

IV Constitutional Government of East Timor

Dili 21 January 2009

Media Release

Fretilin falsely reports the deaths of premature babies

As the National Parliament approved the 2009 General State Budget and debates continue on line expenditure for ministries, Fretilin continues to launch a brutal campaign of misinformation to discredit the Government. The worst yet, Fretilin has falsely reported the deaths of premature babies to promote their political agenda.

A recent Fretilin media release reported that 80% of premature babies die in hospitals in Timor-Leste because of lack of incubators. In fact, only 16% of premature babies die in East Timor hospitals, and of those deaths, none are attributed to lack of incubators.

Every hospital in Timor-Leste is equipped with incubators and ventilators and there have been no deaths reported because of lack of access to life saving machinery.

Furthermore, Fretilin claims they are committed to spending in health yet their record proves contrary to their statement.

In 2006, Fretilin only committed $16.884.000USD on health despite their ability and responsibility to increase the expenditure. The 2009 budget has doubled expenditure to health to $32.893.000 USD. The minister for Health, Dr. Nelson Martins pointed out" The AMP Government has committed close to double which what Fretilin spent. This clearly demonstrates our commitment to improve the health and welfare of the people of our nation."

And quite opposite from what Fretilin is falsely reporting, the increased spending under the AMP Government has shown a radical decrease in infant mortality rates. In 2006, 98 in every 1000 children under the age of 5 died, since the AMP Government took office, the rate has dropped to 68 in every 1000.

Because of these successes, Donor confidence has radically increased, as has the funding. In 2005 under the Fretilin Government, the Global Funda refused a request for an extension to fund for malaria program and stopped the fund for TB control. This year, under Xanana Gusmao's Government they reinstated funding for 25.6 million USD for TB and HIV.

The hard working public servants of the Ministry of health have achieved a record rate of 81% of the population in health assistance, down to the village level by diligently managing 67 community health centers and 460 health posts. These well deserved public servants will be awarded a pay increase under the new public service pay scheme, the first national increase since independence.

Martins closed by saying "We have a long way to go in health in Timor-Leste but the improvements thus far give us hope that the foundations the AMP Government is setting, will establish the basics for a well functioning health system through both education, prevention and treatment of all citizens." ENDS

For more information, please contact: Iris Hamberg 731 8814
1999 East Timor Crimes Against Humanity - Prosecute 1999 human rights abuses in East Timor!

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