Bringing Healthcare to the Underserved:
Dr. Gil Sequeira's POCUS Mission in East Timor
EchoNous recently caught up with Dr. Gil Sequeira, an emergency medicine physician and point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) trainer at POCUSX in Portugal, to hear about his six-week mission in East Timor, where he partnered with EchoNous to bring essential point-of-care ultrasound services to a small rural healthcare program.
Meet Dr. Gil Sequeira
Dr. Gil Sequeira is an emergency medicine physician who specializes in minor surgeries. He works at the Hospital de Santa Luzia (ULSAM) in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, and also serves in the trauma unit at Hospital da Senhora da Oliveira Guimarães in Guimarães, Braga, Portugal. Besides his clinical roles, Dr. Sequeira is a POCUS trainer at POCUSX in Braga, Portugal, contributing to healthcare education.
Pioneering POCUS in Remote Regions
Navigating the challenging terrain of East Timor, Dr. Gil Sequeira dedicated six weeks to delivering crucial healthcare services in collaboration with EchoNous. Operating from a small clinic managed by a Portuguese nun, Dr. Sequeira extended his services to surrounding villages, confronting poor roads and limited access to medical assistance.
In the absence of ambulances, the clinic serves as both a health center and an emergency facility for diverse cases. EchoNous’ Kosmos ultrasound technology, including the Torso-One probe, emerged as an indispensable tool in these critical situations.
This collaboration with EchoNous stemmed from Dr. Sequeira’s involvement in ultrasound courses in Portugal.
“I lecture in ultrasound courses with POCUS in Portugal, and we use a lot of EchoNous ultrasound machines,” he said. In the field, where the nearest hospital was a challenging 30-minute drive away on rugged roads, the portable and adaptable nature of the Kosmos equipment proved indispensable.
One poignant moment unfolded when a pregnant nurse in the clinic experienced the joy of seeing her baby on an ultrasound.
“She was like, ‘Ooh, he is complete, he has a head… he has two arms…!’ It was a beautiful moment,” Sequeira remembered.
Moments like these underscored the impact of Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) on doctor-patient relationships for Dr. Sequeira. He noted that “POCUS is very important. Doctors are often seen as disconnected from their patients. As a doctor, it brings you closer to the patient [and] establishes contact. POCUS is crucial for the bond between the doctor and the patient.”
Stay tuned for our in-depth Q&A article, where Dr. Sequeira, where he shares deeper insights into the impact of point-of-care ultrasound in bridging healthcare gaps and providing compassionate medical care in remote and underserved regions.
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