Manuel Natercio Noronha

ASTEROID Medical Educator

Everyone calls me Amanu and I am a doctor (and a musician). I started working with Maluk Timor as a TB Doctor treating patients at the Community Health Centres (CHC) in Vera Cruz and Comoro. Patients who were suspected of having TB were referred from the National Hospital to their local CHC for treatment. Often, I would also visit patients and their families in their homes (close TB contacts) when they were unable to come in for treatment. Sometimes, when we didn’t have a driver, I would take sputum samples to the Klibur Domin to get the TB MDR result. When COVID started to spread across Timor-Leste, many people started to panic. As a doctor I knew my country need my help fight against COVID, so I volunteered to join the COVID PILAR 2 team. I decided I want to give support and help Timorese people, even if it meant I would be putting my own life in to risky circumstances. Currently, I work in ASTEROID program as a Medical Educator. My role is training healthcare workers in Community Healthcare Centres in all 13 municipalities regarding the infectious diseases. I have learnt many new things in this program; like now, I am not merely giving consultations to the patients but I have also become a facilitator for my fellow healthcare workers. I am delighted with this team, and its own leadership style. What excites me about working for a better healthcare system – is seeing community based healthcare workers keep going even though they know they have limited equipment to support them in in doing their work. It really inspires me.