Subject: Dr Dan Receives East Timor Medal for Merit 

{ 2009 05 22 }

Dr Dan Receives East Timor Medal for Merit

Dr Daniel Murphy, in Dili (East Timor, Timor-Leste) affectionately known as “Dr Dan”, has received the East Timor Medal for Merit. It was presented to him by President Jose Ramos-Horta during the celebrations of the 7th national day, in front of a cheering crowd.

Dr Dan certainly deserves this recognition. Since 1999, he has seen 400 (or more) patients daily at his Bairo Pite Clinic in Dili. He is focused not only on providing general health care to the poor, the fight against malaria, tuberculosis and hiv/aids being part of that, but also on training of local staff. He envisions opening a new, extended clinic, where training of barefoot-doctor type village health workers for the country side is one of many activities – in our opinion an excellent priority.

I have considered Dr Dan a personal friend since his early days in East Timor. Him returning as one of the first expats late September 1999, previously banished by the (then Indonesian) authorities, was a very positive sign in a disturbed time. Him staying on, enthusiastic as ever, is an inspiration and a promise of a better future.

The Bouvet Foundation extend our sincerest congratulations!

Photos © Basil Rolandsen ( )

We quote from the Bairo Pite Clinic <> website:

Dan Murphy received his MD from the University of Iowa. He spent six years working with Ceasar Chavez at a clinic for farm workers, where he was involved with legislation against pesticide abuse. He also worked three years as the sole doctor in a district of 200,000 people in Mozambique, another former Portuguese colony, and briefly in Laos and Nicaragua.

Murphy gave up his medical practice treating heroin addicts, immigrant factory workers and other poor patients in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 1998 after the fall of Indonesian dictator Suharto gave him hope for change in East Timor.

In addition to the 400 patients who come to the clinic every day for trusted, quality care in their local language, Bairo Pite places an emphasis on training East Timorese paramedical, nursing and support staff (many of whom have been unable to continue their schooling since 1999), and runs an acute care hospital as well as maternity and long-stay tuberculosis wards. In October 2002, Dr Dan Murphy was a recipient of a UN Development Program award aimed at giving special recognition of extraordinary and exemplary contribution to the advancement of sustainable human development, reduction of poverty and capacity building in East Timor. Bairo Pite is by far the busiest clinic in East Timor, and no-one is turned away, but yet it’s not nearly enough… Posted by <>bas on Friday, May 22, 2009, at 10:48, and filed under <> photography. Follow any responses to this post with its <> comments RSS feed. You can <> post a comment or <> trackback from your blog.

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