29 January 2009, DILI - As the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Timor-Leste, I would personally like to congratulate Dr Marcelino Correia on his graduation as the first Timorese Ophthalmologist. This is a remarkable achievement and represents a concrete step forward in the development of this young nation.
Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine which deals with the diseases and surgery of the eye. In Timor-Leste, such skills are vital as eye-related problems are common and include cataracts, cornea legions, eye infections and the every growing need for the use of corrective spectacles.
For the past five years, Dr Correia has studied in Australia and been mentored in Timor-Leste by visiting medical teams from Australia in ophthalmology. He has also partaken in several clinical assessments in both Australia and Nepal. Today's graduation marks the completion of his Masters of Medicine in Ophthalmology Degree from the University of Sydney. Prior to this, he completed a Graduate Diploma in International Ophthalmology at the same University. He completed his original Medical Degree from the University of Makassar in Indonesia
Dr Correia's degree is part of specialized medical training funded by the East Timor Eye Program under the auspices of the Ministry of Health. The East Timor Eye Program, together with the AusAID-funded Royal Australian College of Surgeons, have funded several such specialised medical training. The funding for such training represents a great example of public-private partnerships aimed at building the capacity of Timorese professionals.
Such achievements give me hope that the people of Timor-Leste can through their hard efforts raise the quality of life for their children and together create a future for this nation marked with prosperity and hope.
This is a statement by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Timor-Leste Mr Atul Khare.
For further information, please contact Ivo dos Santos on 7311782.