Lourenço is from the Aileu District of Timor Leste and has completed a Bachelor of Science degree at the College of Saints Scholastica in Duluth Minnesota, USA. Before he went to the US to study Lourenço was volunteering at Bairo Pite Clinic (BPC) back in 2004, and then returned to volunteer at the clinic once he had graduated. By helping a visiting American doctor to restructure and evaluate the effectiveness of the mobile health program operated by the clinic, Lourenço was asked to run the program once the doctor had returned to the US.
Organising the mobile clinic program takes a lot of work: on-going contact with the remote communities, carrying out health education programs, ordering medicines, training community health workers and being available for the lay midwives in the remote communities to request the help of a doctor in the case of an emergency in the remote locations. Being involved in all of these areas requires a lot of coordination with the mobile clinic team, specifically the nurses, health workers and drivers. The work of the mobile health clinic makes an obvious difference to the wellbeing of the people in the remote communities around Timor Leste.
The mobile clinic is now a crucial service for many communities around the country; loss of life due to inaccessible health care is a very grave reality in many of the remote areas, adding to the country’s high mortality rate.
Lourenço has enjoyed getting to know some of the communities he visits on a regular basis, not just because it’s an opportunity for him and the team to provide a much needed service to the community, but also because he sees it as a chance to explore more of his own country and to learn from his fellow Timorese.
Lourenço would like to see an increase in the capacity of the mobile health program to include those communities who
have specifically requested help, but in its current state the team are doing all they can to reach as many as possible.
Looking to the future, Lourenço dreams of one day becoming a doctor, but he understands that might not be a reality for him, so he is applying for scholarships to study a Masters in Diagnostic Radiology. Among his studying ambitions, Lourenço hopes to raise a family back in his home town and live in a close community where health and education are freely available for all.