East Timor has experienced a violent history. Now, 68% of the country live in poverty and a health emergency is raging. This report follows the doctors and patients caught in the middle of its welfare crisis.
In a Dili clinic, the corridors are lined with waiting patients. Many have diseases Westerners thought consigned to history. Most suffer from malnutrition and an overwhelming proportion are children. For a country rich in resources, the emergency is shocking, even to the aid workers working there. "There is no access to anything near adequate healthcare", says Dr Murphy, an American who left Iowa for East Timor 16 years ago. For Dr Goncalves, a local doctor, the fight is a personal one. "Two of my brothers died before they were 3. Both of them died of diarrhoea". As doctors and healthcare workers continue the challenge of treating preventable diseases, we follow the people grappling with "the biggest health crisis in the Pacific region".FULL SYNOPSIS