This is a vivid account of problems caused by malaria, sleeping sickness (in Africa) and other major diseases facing those living in the non-electrified rural areas. These health hazards also affect today's travellers. The author's 'hands-on' experiences in diagnosing and trying to control tropical diseases in Africa are amusing, sad and occasionally frightening. He was summoned too late to investigate a sleeping sickness outbreak deep in tsetse-infested bush. Despite being badly bitten by tsetse, and putting his own life in danger, he managed to save 15 -- but over 200 died. Why were so most unable or unwilling to make the difficult journey to the nearest hospital? This traumatic experience drove him to find reliable ways for local health staff to reach, examine, diagnose, and treat these outlying communities. Generous funding, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others, is now available to eliminate much of the sickness, suffering, and deaths. Such generosity sadly carries some risk of being 'diminished' during distribution and the much-needed vaccines may yet take several years to become reality for all. Hence the need for more instant help.
The author offers some answers -- basically an inexpensive Primary Healthcare programme, using new, accurate and affordable diagnostic tools of which the 'Spindoctor' centrifuge is one. His programme includes multi-geared electric bicycles and two-man motor scooters to reach and provide regular, effective medical surveillance to predict epidemics. 'Spindoctor' is an autobiography with a valuable practical message; it is a fascinating account and a pleasure to read.