As a medical student, Dr Joshua (Josh) Francis travelled to Africa for his elective subjects. The experience ignited a passion to use his skills to meet international medical needs.
Now Darwin-based, Josh regularly travels to Timor-Leste and back (quarantining on arrival in both countries on every trip) to establish testing procedures and train Timorese health workers to manage COVID-19.
A specialist in paediatric infectious diseases, Josh has also played a vital role in helping diagnose and treat rheumatic heart disease (RHD), tuberculosis and HIV in the children of Timor-Leste.
As a researcher at the Menzies School of Health Research, Josh’s work focuses on RHD, tuberculosis, clinical microbiology, and strengthening health systems to tackle challenges in Indigenous and global child health.
Josh was instrumental in setting up a paediatric registrar exchange program between the Royal Darwin Hospital and Dili’s national hospital. His research on RHD in Timor-Leste school students won best research paper at the 2019 Australian Medical Association National Conference Awards.