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Biography & Autobiography Medical

Moon Madness

Dr. Louise Aall, sixty years of healing in Africa

by (author) Alan Twigg

Ronsdale Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2019
Medical, East, Women
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2019
    List Price

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Norwegian-born Dr. Louise Aall of Tsawwassen, B.C., studied medicine in Germany, France and Switzerland before working solo as an itinerant bush doctor in rural Tanganyika (now Tanzania). There she pioneered the treatment of epilepsy, establishing in 1959 her own remote clinic — which still exists today. She became the first Western physician to treat a variant of epilepsy that is now recognized by the WHO as “Nodding Syndrome.” The following year, Dr. Aall was asked by the Red Cross to fly to the Belgian Congo to manage a 300-bed hospital. Protected by UN soldiers, she served as the hospital’s lone bedside physician during civil war atrocities. Soon after, at the behest of Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer, she worked with him at his renowned clinic in Gabon. She then married and immigrated to Canada and gained accreditation as a psychiatrist at McGill, then as an anthropologist at the University of B.C. Since that time, she has returned to her Tanzanian clinic many times, continuing to provide innovative treatment and rehabilitation for epilepsy, benefitting thousands of Africans afflicted with “moon madness.”

About the author

Alan Twigg is the publisher and editor of BC Book World, Canada's largest-circulating publication about books. He has also been contributing editor of Quill & Quire, Canadian books columnist for the Vancouver Province, books columnist for Vancouver magazine, a contributor of profiles to the Toronto Star and the Writers Union of Canada representative on the board of directors of the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing. In 2000, he was the first recipient of the Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contibutions to literature and publishing.

Alan is the author of ten previous titles including For Openers: Conversations with 24 Canadian Writers, Hubert Evans: The First Ninety-Three Years, Vancouver and Its Writers, Vander Zalm: from Immigrant to Premier, First Invaders: The Literary Origins of British Columbia and Cuba: 101 Top Historical Sites.

Alan Twigg's profile page

Other titles by Alan Twigg