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Hong Kong foundation launches public health pilot project in Timor-Leste

The project seeks to combat dengue fever as cases surge and encompasses more than 300 medical facilities in the island nation.

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GX Foundation, a Hong Kong-based NGO, delivered more than 10 tons of protective equipment and supplies to combat dengue fever to Timor-Leste on Tuesday, according to a government press release.

The donation, worth around US$1 million, will play an integral role in a newly developed pilot project to reduce the incidence of the mosquito-borne disease – one of the smallest but most lethal challenges in the country.

The project encompasses more than 300 medical facilities across Timor-Leste, including hospitals, community health centres and health posts. It seeks to implement a comprehensive approach to combating dengue, through prevention, protection, awareness and early diagnosis.

[See more: Timor-Leste and China sign major new agreements]

Donated items include mosquito lamps, nets, mosquito traps and rapid dengue tests, which will be supplemented through education in local communities, churches and schools.

Headed by Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong’s former chief executive, GX Foundation provides medical and public health assistance to Belt and Road Initiative countries around the world. In addition to vector-borne disease control and community knowledge transfer, foundation work includes cataract blindness elimination, emergency aid and disaster risk management.

At the ceremony to deliver the equipment, Leung thanked the Timorese government and other partners for their support of the project which “marks an important beginning of a strong partnership between [GX Foundation and the government of Timor-Leste] in public health.” Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão agreed, calling it “another positive step in this partnership.”

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