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on 25 December 2012
This book was first published in 1993, has 206 pages, 9 B/W photos, 6 chapters but no maps. The book is dedicated to author's wife IRENE and 2 daughters LINDA and DIANA. ALEC SMITH (Bwana Dudu) joined the colonial medical research service in 1950 as an entomologist in Mwanza, Tanganyika(Tanzania). He worked for 3 years on Ukara Island, in Lake Victoria. After his marriage, he moved to Pare area working on 5 year malaria control project. For next 13 years, he was posted in Arusha. In 1972, he joined the WHO, working in West and Southern Africa. He retired in 1986.
The book starts with Smith narrating his youth. He was born in Birmingham and had interest in insects and birds. By 1943, he had studied botony, zoology and chemistry. After getting his honours in zoology and PhD, he joined the colonial service in 1950 and sailed to MOMBASA and then by train to KISUMU and then sailed to MWANZA. His research was to find out which species of mosquitoes transmitted filariasis and how these dudus could be controlled. For this he had to collect mosquito specimens. He goes to UKARA island to get them. Running out of malaria tablets, he gets fever putting him in bed for 1 week. In 1952, he climbed Mt Kilimanjaro(19,340ft)-both Mwenzi and Kibo summits.
On leave to England, he married IRENE on 6.2.1954 and they sailed to TANGA. On return, he was posted as malaria control entomologist at TAVETA and GONJA. He meets col Grogan in Taveta. On 10.3.1956, Irene had her 1st daughter-LINDA at MOSHI hospital and her 2nd daughter- DIANA on 26.7.1958. In 1959, Smith was posted to ARUSHA for 13 years at the colonial insecticide research unit(CIRU). Irene starts a nursery school within her house and garden. Linda and Diana go to Arusha school and in 1966, they were sent to Ashford school, Kent, England. Smith goes to Nigeria for 3 months. Then he climbs Mt MERU(14,979ft) 3 times! He also climbs Ol-Donyio Lengai(mountain of the Maasai God) and gets beautiful views. He gets more good views by climbing Mt Kilimanjaro again. On 16.10.1961, Tanganyika gets her independence. In November 1972, Smith left East Africa on compulsory retirement.
In March 1973, Smith got an offer from WHO, firstly to work in Geneva and then on malaria control project in South Africa. His next assignment was to Nigeria on 23.11.1976. But in June 1980, he was back in Geneva. In June 1985, he visited Arusha again. After 30 yaers in Africa, he retired beck to England.
Smith narrates his life from 1950 to 1982 in Tanganyika, its natives, wildlife, countryside and his work in South and West Africa, until his retirement.
Some other books of interest are:-
(1) Prevention of Malaria, Sir Ronald Ross 1911(2012)
(2) Memoirs with Full Account of Great Malaria problem and its Solution, R Ross 1923(2011)
(3) Blackwater Fever, Stephens 1937
(4) Man's Mastery of Malaria, Russell 1965
(5) Mosquitoes and Malaria, Harrison 1978
(6) An Illustrated History of Malaria, Poser 1999
(7) Mosquito, Richard Jones 2012
Having born in Kenya, I found this book interesting.
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