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January 23, 1932

On the Edge of the Primeval Forest: Experiences and Observations of a Doctor in Equatorial Africa.

JAMA. 1932;98(4):342. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730300072035

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This interesting volume graphically portrays the experiences of a Strasbourg physician, musician and clergyman during his first four years of service in the Ogowe District, Gaboon Colony, West Africa. The Ogowe River lies north of, and roughly parallels, the Congo. The country is flat and heavily wooded, and the climate is hot, moist and disagreeable. In a dry region the heat would not be oppressive, but the excessive moisture renders the Ogowe lowlands unhealthful for European habitation. The atmosphere is so warm and so damp that successful cultivation of cereals and potatoes is impracticable, and flour, rice, potatoes and milk must be imported. Of the various diseases encountered, malaria was the commonest. Rheumatism occurred with great frequency, and heart complaints were far from rare among the native population. Mental disorders were common and extremely difficult to handle satisfactorily. Trypanosomiasis prevailed in the neighboring district of M'Goniye but only incidentally at

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