[Easttimorstudies] Three Recent Medical Articles on Timor-Leste

Jennifer Drysdale jenster at cres10.anu.edu.au
Mon Oct 9 15:45:09 EST 2006

ANZ J Surg. 2006 Aug;76(8):683-7.
Click here to read

Cleft surgery in East timor: the first four years.

Overseas Specialist Surgical Association of 
Australia, Adelaide, South Australia. mhmoore at adelaide.on.net
BACKGROUND: Following the vote for independence 
in 1999, this team commenced the first coherent 
reconstructive surgical service in East Timor. 
The aim of this paper is to report the cleft lip 
and palate surgical experience during the 4 years 
since independence. METHODS: From June 2000, a 
record of all cleft surgical procedures carried 
out by our team in East Timor has been 
maintained. This has been reviewed to identify 
the clinical experience, procedures carried out 
and the outcomes of the cleft population in this, 
the poorest and newest, nation in Asia. RESULTS: 
 From the 519 reconstructive surgical procedures 
carried out by this team in East Timor during the 
first 4 years, 267 were for cleft lip and palate 
deformity. Cleft lip and nose repairs were most 
commonly undertaken, although over the period of 
the study increasing numbers of cleft palate 
repairs were evident, reflecting the developing 
confidence in the service by the local 
population. CONCLUSION: The establishment of a 
regular, consistent cleft lip and palate surgical 
team in East Timor has not only seen the 
successful correction of a large number of 
untreated cleft patients, but has also 
contributed to a restoration of trust in the 
newly developing health system in East Timor.

Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 75(1), 2006, pp. 182-185
Copyright © 2006 by 
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene


Department of Emergency Medicine, Nambour General 
Hospital, Nambour, Queensland, Australia

A case is reported of a seven-year-old girl who 
had concurrent infections with Plasmodium 
falciparum malaria and dengue in a remote area of 
East Timor. The diagnosis of malaria was delayed 
because of two false-negative results with 
malaria rapid diagnosis test cards. Diagnosis was 
eventually made on microscopic examination of the 
patient’s blood. Despite treatment, the patient 
subsequently died. This case serves as a reminder 
of the fallibility of rapid diagnostic tests, and 
the importance of examining the patient’s blood 
microscopically if malaria is suspected.

Am J Hum Biol. 2006 Sep-Oct;18(5):691-701

Y-STR haplotype diversity in distinct linguistic groups from East Timor.


Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, 
3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal. lsouto at bio.ua.pt
East Timor is a country which harbors multiple 
ethnolinguistic groups generally assigned to an 
Austronesian or Papuan ancestry. The present 
study aimed to characterize Y-chromosome 
haplotype diversity in East Timor, and to test 
possible population structures based on 
linguistic and/or geographical information. Using 
a set of 12 Y-chromosome-specific STRs (DYS19, 
DYS389I and II, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392, DYS393, 
DYS385, DYS437, DYS438, and DYS439), haplotypes 
were established in 342 individuals from 12 
linguistic groups (Tetum, Kwaimina, Galoli, 
Wetarese, Dawan, Mambai, Kemak, Tokodede, Bunak, 
Makasai, Makalero, and Fataluku) belonging to the 
three major ethnolinguistic groups in East Timor: 
two from the Timorese-Austronesian branch 
(Fabronic and Ramelaic), and a third including 
languages related to a Trans-New Guinea phylum 
(Papuan). High values of haplotype diversity, 
average gene diversity, and mean number of 
pairwise differences per locus were found in all 
12 linguistic groups, except for the Wetarese 
from the island of Atauro. Analysis of genetic 
variance (AMOVA) and pairwise genetic distance 
analysis showed that the East Timor population is 
genetically structured, and if the Bunak and 
Wetarese are excluded, samples group well with 
respect to their language affinities, and 
furthermore, the most genetically homogeneous 
groups are those following the broad 
ethnolinguistic classifications. Bunak and 
Wetarese behave as outsider groups, and are 
genetically more closely related to populations 
classified in a different linguistic group.

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