Disability & Deafness in North East Africa
Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia
Introduction and Bibliography, mainly non–medical, with historical material and some annotation
Compiled, introduced and annotated by M. Miles
West Midlands, UK
For a list of abbreviations used in this document, consult the glossary.
North East Africa: History (1601–1955)
ABBATE–PACHA O. (1882) Nouvelles observations physiologiques de subjectivité chez certains aveugles. Bulletin de l'Institut d'Égypte (Second series) 3: 22–30.
Incidentally mentions (p. 23) that "Ici, au Caire, nous avons aussi depuis peu d'années une école d'aveugles, sous l'habile direction de mon ami Onsy–Bey. C'est une établissement où on apprend quelques métiers, un peu à lire et écrire, ainsi que quelques notions de géographie." (Cf. FATTAH, below)
ABBOTT P.H. (1951) Observation of leprosy among the Azande of the Southern Sudan. EAMJ 28: 503–507.
The people observed lived along the most south–westerly boundary of Sudan. Among a sample of 9,410, 436 people with leprosy were found, roughly two females to one male. Most cases were considered to be mild, and "not more than about one quarter of the total lepers can be said to suffer to any appreciable degree." Abbott believed that a vertical leprosy control program should have lower priority than more general public health measures, given the severely limited health resources, and the probable preventative effects of raising the general level of health in the community.
'AJBAN J. (1948) Arabic: [The world of the blind and psychology.] Egyptian J. Psychology 4 (1) #.
AMIN M (1948) Arabic: [The mentally retarded and the State's duties toward them.] Alexandria: Dar Nashr El–Thakafa.
AMMAR, Hamed (1954) Growing Up in an Egyptian Village. Silwa Province of Aswan. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 316 pp.
Carefully drawn pictures of childhood in village Egypt. Chapter 10 (pp. 202–213) reflects on "Indigenous learning and teaching," and describes the daily activities in Islamic village schools of Silwa – where three of the six teachers were blind men. In Appendix XII, on ability testing of village children, a few "mentally deficient" individuals are noted, whom the villagers regard as holy fools.
ANGELINI G. & SCAFFIDI V. (1937) Segnalazione di endemia gozzigena nella regione dell'Enda Meconni (Tigrai meridionale). Folia medica (Napoli) 23: 356–68.
ANTONIOTTO, Alberto (1984) Traditional medicine in Somalia: an anthropological approach to the concepts concerning disease. In: T. Labahn (Ed.) Proceedings of the Second International Conference of Somali Studies, University of Hamburg, 1983, pp. 155–69. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag.
Describes a complex syncretic traditional belief system of disease concepts and therapy, with both Islamic and pre–Islamic African components, with focus on fieldwork in a particular village in Afgoy district.
ARCHIBALD R.G. (1924) Some remarks on the medical aspects of albinism and leucoderma. Sudan Notes and Records 7 (2) 44–48.
ATKEY O.F.H. (1935) Leprosy control in the southern Sudan. Intl J. Leprosy 3: (73–79)
Described three vast leprosy camps with over 5000 patients, 1928–1930. Where hypnocarpus treatment seemed to arrest the disease, patients were discharged (from Iliffe, p. 220).
ATKEY O.F.H. (1937) The distribution of leprosy in the Sudan with reference to climate and diet. Intl J. Leprosy 2: 193–
BADAWI S. (1946) Arabic: [Mental abnormality in school children.] Egyptian J. Psychl 2: No. 1, 120–.
BARRADA, Hassan (1946) Blindness in Egypt. Historical, Statistical and Recent Campaign, presented to the National Society Conference for the Prevention of Blindness. Cairo: Govt Egypt, Min. Public Health. 21 pp.
Includes historical review of Ophthalmia, and a few paragraphs (pp. 7–8) on the condition of blind people
BAYOUMI, Ahmed (1979) The History of Sudan Health Services. Nairobi: Kenya Literature Bureau. xxii + 351 pp.
History of service development under various regimes in the Sudan from 1820 onward. A brief review of traditional practices (pp. 35–44) includes mention of bone–setters, amputation with cauterisation, Koranic therapies and other methods with mental illness, from the Arab heritage (pp. 38–39). In the southern regions, traditional African therapies included massage of various body parts. Among the Azande, the idea that during pregnancy God might be busy fashioning the growing foetus, and if disturbed at his work some deformity might result, led to a thoughtful ban against waking pregnant women from sleep (40–41). Leprosy was ascribed to the deity, rather than to witchcraft. Chapters concern various serious conditions, e.g. Cholera, Famine, Smallpox, Nile Fevers, Sleeping Sickness, Cerebrospinal Meningitis, Malaria, with very little mention of disability. Goitre and leprosy are mentioned in passing.
BLOSS J.F.E. (1941) Notes on the health of the Sudan prior to the present Government. Sudan Notes and Records 24: 131–42.
The earlier part derives from travellers' reports, starting with James Bruce, who travelled in Abyssinia, the Sudan and Egypt in 1765–1777, then WG Browne c. 1793, Burckhardt c. 1807, and a few later in the Eighteenth century, producing some useful account of diseases and some disabling conditions. Mention was made of leprosy, epilepsy, ophthalmia, trachoma, measles leading to squint or blindness, and fractures.
BLOSS J.F.E. (1945) Control of leprosy among the Azande, Anglo–Egyptian Sudan. Transcripts of the Royal Socy Trop. Medcn. & Hygiene 39 (1) 42–
BOUSFIELD, Leonard (1954) Sudan Doctor. London: Christopher Johnson.
Bousfield worked for many years in the Sudan as a doctor of impeccable Britishness, who maintained what some might find rather outdated views on the behaviour and morality of many of his fellow humans. Yet he came to tolerate and even admire some aspects of Sudanese culture. On p. 85, "In dealing with fractures the natives are extremely efficient and I saw a number of cases which were so splinted that they equalled or excelled our Western methods." He gave a detailed description of how this was done, using readily available local tools and materials. On pp. 90–92 he described visiting a "leper colony" at Ras–el–Fid, "some forty miles from the Abyssinian frontier" in the earliest years of the Twentieth century, where about "twenty lepers" lived and maintained themselves, with government aid.
[BRETT P.M.] (1920) An acquired cranial deformity (Mombettu [Monbutto?] tribe). Sudan Notes and Records 3: 81.
[Not seen. Title, volume and page appear in Index (Vol. 21), but Brett is not listed. Mombettu and Monbutto alternatives also appear]
BROTMACHER, Leon (1955) Medical practice among the Somalis. Bull. History of Medicine 29: 197–229.
Based on studies made in 1948 while Brotmacher was a medical officer in British Somaliland, the data was reported ‘as told’ by Somali practitioners. Brief notes appear on disability and deformity. While some care was always given to the helpless sick, "chronic and elderly patients are apt to be neglected, and the crippled and deformed are left to manage as best they can, often drifting into the townships as beggars" (p. 202). Mental disease, epilepsy and deformities might be attributed to demonic action; while congenital diseases and abnormalities could result from shocks or influences on the mother during pregnancy (207–208; 213–214, 223). An appended glossary includes Somali terms for blind, deaf, leprosy, deformed child, hare–lipped, cripple.
BRYANT J. (1936–37) A description of investigations carried out in the Equatoria Province of the Anglo–Egyptian Sudan on a hitherto undescribed disease of the eyes now known as "Sudan blindness"; together with an account of the manifestations of Onchocerca volvulus (Leuckart, 1893), notes on the parasite and its relation to "Sudan blindness." M.D. thesis, Univ. Edinburgh. 153 pp.
BUSCHKENS, Willem F.L. (1990) Community Health in the Developing World: the case of Somalia. Assen, NL: Van Gorcum. xv + 117 pp.
High levels of eye disease were noted by 19th century travellers, and also leprosy (pp. 33–34). In the 1950s, otitis and arthritis/rheumatism were further disabling conditions. Later (1980s), the author suggests that many visitors to Somalia notice "the large number of severely disabled, with blindness caused by various eye diseases and local brawls; also polio, leprosy, traffic accidents and war, leading to physical disabilities" (pp. 36–37). Mental health problems were rising, but very poorly catered for. The traditional health care system is described in some detail (pp. 51–61), responding to some of the culturally perceived ailments of the mind, e.g. oppression by spirits (54–55, 57). Bonesetters continued to be useful practitioners with fractured limbs (59).
BUXTON, Jean (1973) Religion and Healing in Mandari. Oxford: Clarendon. xiv + 443.
Detailed study among the Mandari people of Southern Sudan, based on fieldwork in the 1950s. Disabling conditions were involved, such as mental illnesses (pp. 32–63); "birth variants and birth anomalies" (pp. 36, 146, 244–50). See index, e.g. convulsion or possession; evil eye; exorcism; illness; leprosy; madness.
COCHRANE R.G. (1953) Leprosy in the Anglo–Egyptian Sudan. East & Central African Leprosy Rev. 24: 177–223.
CRECELIUS, Daniel (1991) The waqf of Muhammad Bey Abu al–Dhahab in historical perspective. Intl J. Middle East Studies 23: 57–81.
Detailed description of a large mosque and educational centre and the waqf foundation funding it, of which the construction began in 1774, opposite the site of Al–Azhar, Cairo. Public recitation of the Qur'an continued from early morning to nightfall. Daily and annual disbursements are listed to "5 blind men as muezzins and muballighun." Among the provisions for utilising any surplus from the wakf, after the original donor and his dependents had died, "two thirds of the surplus from the waqf was to go to the blind residents of al–Azhar and the zAwiya of the blind next to it." (See also, LANE ; LARREY).
CRUICKSHANK, Alexander (1934) Onchocerca volvulus (Leuckart), its occurrence in the southern Anglo–Egyptian Sudan and its significance in the etiology of endemic blindness. M.D. thesis, Univ. Aberdeen. 61 pp.
CRUICKSHANK A. (1948) The birth of a leper settlement. Sudan Notes and Records 29 (2) 183–88.
CRUICKSHANK A. (1962) The Kindling Fire. Medical Adventures in the Southern Sudan. London: Heinemann.
Cruickshank was a classic medical pioneer, working not as a missionary but in the civil medical service of Sudan for many years. He described with wry self–deprecating humour his slow acclimatisation to southern Sudanese cultures as he founded and built up a general hospital and huge leprosy colonies among the Azande in the 1920s with support of the local chiefs and later some Syrian medical officers, as well as running a sleeping sickness control project and acting as a magistrate in a vast area (pp. 31–53, 69–81). (Colony conditions were sufficiently better than in ordinary villages, that healthy people used many tricks to get admitted as leprosy patients; but cured patients were discharged to their villages, with a little persuasion). Later Cruickshank did research on blindness resulting from Oncocerciasis (as it was later called) (pp. 106–12), and engaged with many other disabling conditions and emergencies. His chapter "Round the Bend" (pp. 168–76) is a comical–tragical account of isolated European physicians and officers who crossed the line from eccentricity to madness. On male and female circumcision, he contrasted the effects of the milder female excision with the severe mutilation (pp. 183–87). The first, which he witnessed in West Africa as part of the Bundu Bush initiation rites, he considered a "humane and relatively innocuous ceremony" in which the hypnotised girls needed no physical restraint during the operation. But Cruickshank enumerated the disabling physical and psychological outcomes of the "barbarous Pharaonic system."
EL–DA'EM A. (1946) Arabic: [The deaf–mute child.] Egyptian J. Psychl 2 (1) 108–.
DAVIS, Raymond J. (1966) Fire on the Mountains. The story of a Miracle – the Church in Ethiopia. Oliphants. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan)
On pp. 168–75, stories appear of disabled individuals who experienced healing, in the local Ethiopian church communities initiated by evangelical Protestant missionaries in the 1930s.
DEAF in Egypt, The (1947) Volta Review 49 (1) p. 35.
Brief note about a private school for deaf children run by a Greek lady, Madame Semely Tsotsou, also responsible for training 15 Egyptian teachers. With photographs.
DE SOUZA–ARAUJO HC (1929) Leprosy Survey Made in Fourty Countries (1924–1927). Rio de Janiero: Oswald Cruz institute. 400 pp. (‘Fourty’ sic)
Reports a voyage around the leprosy world, with observations and references from most of the countries visited. Includes Egypt (269–73).
D'IGNAZIO, Camitto (1950) Lebbra, Lebbrosi e Lebbrosari in Etiopia. (Leprosy, lepers and leprosaria in Ethiopia.) Archivio Italiano di scienze mediche tropicali e di parassitologia 31: 759–68.
DODGE, Bayard (1974) Al–Azhar. A Millennium of Muslim Learning. Memorial edn, Washington D.C.: Middle East Institute.
Mention is made of blind boys studying the Qur'an at Al–Azhar from possibly the Twelfth to the Twentieth century CE, on pp. 44, 86–87, 101, 165, 206. A special hostel was built for them by Osman Katkhuda in the early 1730s. The sheikh in charge was customarily a blind man. (See also CRECELIUS; HEYWORTH–DUNNE; LANE, 1890; LARREY).
DOLBEY, Robert V. & OMAR, Mustafa (1924) A note concerning the incidence of goitre in Egypt. Lancet 207: 549–50.
Report on 216 goitre cases treated, 1919–23. (Cf. Greenwald, q.v.).
DUFF C.W. (1980) Cords of Love (Phillipsburg, NJ, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Company).
Clarence Duff was a missionary in rural Ethiopia, and later in Addis Ababa. His letters home from 1928 to 1938 underpin this book. People with severe disabilities sometimes appear incidentally (e.g. pp. 21, 135, 212, 258, 347). More specific were the 20 or 30 "lepers and cripples" attending a regular service of worship at Garbitchu, Sidamo in 1929 (pp. 84, 105); also Duff's elderly neighbour at Lambuda, who had leprosy, and her son Lirei (pp. 210, 220, 278–79); a man named Bayena, from Marako, who lost his hearing as a youth, and whose religious testimony in 1937 impressed Duff (pp. 359–60). Some details appear of the leprosarium started near Addis Ababa in 1934 (pp. 286, 345, 361); also a small school for blind people, run by Leona Kibby (pp. 286, 313).
FAHMI M. (1951) Arabic: [Stuttering.] Egyptian J. Psychl 6 (3) 399–.
FAMILLIARI P. (1945) [Acquired blindness among Ethiopians]. Bollettino della Società Italiana di Medicina e Igiene Tropicale. (Sezione Eritrea) 5 (5/6) 87–99.
FATTAH, El Sayed A. (1954) Beirut Conference on Perso–Arabic Braille. In: Proceedings of the World Assembly of the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind, UNESCO House, Paris, August 5–13, 1954, 75–78. Boston.
Brief history of Arabic braille, mainly in Egypt, starting with Dr. Onsy opening a blind school at Cairo in the 1870s and producing Arabic braille known as Onsy's Point. The Beirut conference on Perso–Arabic braille took place over 70 years later in February 1951, to unify the many braille schemes in use by then. (Cf. ABBATTE–PACHA, above; ZAKI PACHA, below)
FERRO–LUZZI, Giovanni (1947) Studio sui fenomeni di malnutrizione in Eritrea. Nota II. Malattia da "seberè" e latirismo in Eritrea. (Studies on the phenomenon of malnutrition in Eritrea. 2. "Seberè" disease and lathyrism in Eritrea). Bollettino della Società Italiana di Medicina e Igiene Tropicale. (Colonia [Sezione] Eritrea) Estratto dal Vol. VII (No. 5–6): pp. 1–12. Ospedale Coloniale Principale "Regina Elena" – Asmara (Eritrea), (Reparto Medicina).
(N.B. The original page numbers are listed by Kloos & Zein [q.v.] as pp. 483–94. When extracted and reproduced separately, it was numbered pp. 1–12.) Professor Ferro–Luzzi was director of the "Regina Elena" Hospital, Asmara, and published over 40 papers on a range of medical conditions in Eritrea, often with a focus on malnutrition. This paper appears to be the first published and detailed report on lathyrism in Eritrea, also citing literature from Europe and India. Six typical cases are described with clinical details, five being from the Adi–Ugri district. Case dates are not given; but it is stated that a locust invasion in 1945 devastated the food crops, resulting in poorer people making greater use of lathyrus sativus than normal. The first case was female, aged 30, then five males aged 33, 25, 7, 3, and 17. A photograph is shown of the sixth male, named Sium Tecleremlet, using a stick in each hand for support or balance as he moves forward dragging his left foot. Summaries appear in Italian and in English (final page).
GASPERINI G.C. (1942) La profilassi del gozzo endemico in Eritrea. Bolletino della Società Italiana di Medicina e Igiene Tropicale 1: 122–135.
GIRGIS, Sabry (1948) Arabic: [Psychiatric clinics for children and adolescents.] Egyptian J. Psychl 4 (1) 53–.
GIRGIS S. (1955) Arabic: [A Statistical Study of Scholastic Retardation Among Elementary Students in Cairo.] Cairo: Sahifat al–Tarbiya.
Study among 3412 students.
GOLTSINGER. (See below, HOLZINGER, 1898, 1899. When Friedrich Holzinger's work was published in Russian, and transliterated from Cyrillic to Roman script for indexing, his name appeared as ‘Golzinger,’ ‘Goltsinger,’ ‘Holtsinger,’ or other variants, sometimes with initial F., or F.F.)
GODRON, Gérard (1991) Healings in Coptic literature. In: A.S. Atiya (Ed.) The Coptic Encyclopedia, pp. 1212–1214. New York: MacMillan.
Based on a listing (not shown) of "some 120 miraculous cures from Coptic texts," Godron takes a mildly sceptical view, noting that many of the ailments are of a nebulous, possible psychosomatic nature. (See also MEINARDUS, above).
GREENWALD, Isidor (1949) The history of goiter in Africa. Bull. Historical Medcn. 23: 155–185.
Reports by travellers and physicians mentioning goitre, or failing to do so, in Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, appear on pp. 173–176.
HALIM, Ahmed Abdel (1939) Native medicine and ways of treatment in the Northern Sudan. Sudan Notes and Records 22: 27–48.
Description based on personal experience, also with reference to three papers on similar topics, by Hassan Effendi Zaki & R. von Slatin Pasha; L. Bousfield; and R.G. Anderson; "in the third report (1908) of the Wellcome Research Laboratories" (in Sudan). Use was made of herbal treatments, cupping, cautery, massage and manipulation, surgery, and religious treatments, i.e. fumigation with small papers carrying Qur'anic verses. Various disabling conditions are included, e.g. fits and convulsions, cerebro–spinal meningitis, severe headaches, facial paralysis, hemiplegia, paraplegia, madness, rheumatism, bone–setting, plastering and splints for fractures, severe burns, cataracts and other eye diseases.
HALLPIKE, Christopher R. (1972) The Konso of Ethiopia. A Study of the Values of a Cushitic People. Oxford UP. xvi + 342 pp.
(This appears under ‘history,’ as the thoughts and values observed are clearly rooted in the past.) During the 1960s the author did 16 months fieldwork among the Konso in the far south–west of Ethiopia. Comments appear on "lunatics, imbeciles" and others with "deviant behaviour" (p. 138), also concepts of mind involving stupidity and intelligence (p. 283). Mad people, if harmless, were tolerated and often given some means to provide for themselves. Imbeciles could be tolerated if they were jolly and amused people with antics, but otherwise had a hard time. "There was an imbecile girl in Búso ... repellently ugly, incontinent, and perpetually crying, because of the teasing of the boys, who would run behind her and flip her skirts up, or pelt her with dung. Her parents, reasonably enough, regarded her as a tiresome liability, and barely gave her enough food to support life. She died shortly after I left Búso." (p. 138) However, in a section on disease and the supernatural (pp. 308–311), insanity was "supposed to be the work of evil spirits, in many cases, as opposed to idiocy, which is God's doing" (310). A creation legend showed the first man having a body with everything present, yet he was inert or paralysed. God's wife suggested that speech medicine be given. God had none, but brought breath, and "then the man began to speak and move about" (p. 226).
HAMDY, Sherine F. (2005) Blinding ignorance: medical science, diseased eyes, and religious practice in Egypt. Arab Studies J. 12 (2) – 13 (1), pp. 26–45.
Discusses literary and biographical evidence on the efforts of reformers in the Islamic world to move from traditional toward scientific approaches to public health and biomedicine in the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, using the example of eye disease and treatment in Egypt.
HAMZA M. (1954) Arabic: [Vocational rehabilitation of the physically disabled.] Egyptian Yearbook of Psychology 1: 119–.
Based on experience at the Cairo Centre for Vocational Rehabilitation.
HANA A. (1949) Arabic: [The value of play in diagnosis of children's psychological diseases.] Egyptian J. Psychl 5 (2) 191–.
HARRIS, W. Cornwallis (1844) The Highlands of Aethiopia (London).
In an embassy to Sahala Selassie, King of Shawa in Southern Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1841, Cornwallis Harris (1844, II: 241, 246–247) witnessed a special distribution of royal alms to a vast throng of diseased and disabled people, including "the old, the halt and the lame, the deaf, the noseless, and the dumb, the living dead in every shape and form." As they poured into the palace environs from near and far, there were bureaucrats keeping "an annual muster–roll" of beneficiaries: "all who were ascertained to have been participants in the distribution of the preceding year were unceremoniously ejected...," so as to reduce the toll on the royal treasury. Harris noted that the mendicants who got past this check "were next classed in squads according to their diseases," and so received their dole. It is not a very attractive scene — yet in terms of locating and naming deaf or disabled people, this may have been one of the earliest African occasions when large numbers were present, and probably had their name and village recorded.
HEFFNER, Edna Spencer (1951) The deaf and the hard of hearing in Ethiopia. Volta Review 53 (7) p. 310.
Heffner, an American experienced in teaching the deaf but who was teaching English in an ordinary secondary school in Ethiopia, started a lip–reading club for hard of hearing boys in 1949. She reported that of the four regular attenders, all had improved their grades, and two became proficient. Other teachers noticed a change in the attitude and confidence of the boys.
HELSER, Albert D. (1940) The Glory of the Impossible. Demonstrations of divine power in the Sudan. Toronto: Evangelical publishers. 144 pp.
HELSER A.D. (1946) The Hand of God in the Sudan. New York: Revell. 144 pp.
HEYWORTH–DUNNE J. (1968) An Introduction to the History of Education in Modern Egypt. London: Frank Cass.
Extensively referenced work, with brief mention of blind students at a mosque in Dasuk (pp. 20–21) and Al–Azhar, Cairo (25–27), and other blind or deaf schools (372, 390, 441) in the Nineteenth century. Work with deaf students may have begun in 1874.
HOLZINGER F.F. (Goltsinger, Friedrich Friedrichovitch – see note above) (1897) Dushevniya bolezni v Abissinia. (Mental disorders in Abyssinia) Obosrenie Psychiatrie, Nevrologie i Eksperimentalnoe Psychologie iii: 161–70.
[Provisional Annotation] With some background details on the geography, culture and health status of the Abyssinian population, Holzinger reported on psychiatric and neurological disorders encountered during the Russian medical mission's work at Harar and Addis Ababa in 1896. Among 121 cases treated, the major conditions were Epilepsy (27), Hemiplegia (9), "Peripheral paralysis" (18), Neuritis (13), and "Paraparesis spastica (Guoja)" (15), the latter being footnoted "Latirism." (Cf. tabulation shown in PANKHURST, 1990)
HOLZINGER, (Friedrich) (1898) (Ueber den Lathyrismus in Abessinien.) Centralblatt fuer Nervenheilkunde und Psychiatrie (Coblenz & Leipzig) (n.F.) ix, 12. (Middle of page 12).
Note of an evening lecture in St. Petersburg: "Holzinger berichtet ueber den Lathyrismus in Abessinien Nach Genuss von Lathyrus sativus coeruleus, das sehr oft waehrend Mangels an sonstigen Lebensmitteln in Abessinien verzehrt wird, treten Krankheitserscheinungen auf, die klinisch vollkommen das Bild spastischer Spinalparalyse zeigen. Dauer der Krankheit 2–10 Jahre." (See HOLZINGER 1899)
HOLZINGER (Goltsinger) F. (1899) O latirizmie (On lathyrism). Nevrologichevsky Vestnik 7 (2) 1–38.
(The kind assistance of M. Akimenko and I. Kaestner, in obtaining the Holzinger articles, is cordially appreciated.) Substantial article in Russian, one third of which directly concerns lathyrism in Abyssinia in the 1890s. At present this seems to be the earliest significant account of lathyrism in the North–East Africa region. In pages 1–29, Holzinger gave a lengthy sketch of the lathyrus species and lathyrism literature of several European countries and Algeria, following Huber (1886) and Schuchardt (1885–1887). He began with the ancient and medieval writers who mentioned lathyrism, and referred to Nineteenth century Indian and Algeria work, with attention also to articles by Schabalin, Semidalov, and Kojewnikoff on the Russian lathyrism epidemic of 1891–1892. Widespread geographical distribution of Lathyrus species was noted, with Abyssinia mentioned (p. 4) in Alefeld (1886) (originally 1866), and various regions of Russia, also Spain and North Africa. Some local lathyrus names were given in various languages (pp. 6–7), and Italian, Algerian and Abyssinian names compared (the latter being "guoja bascheta") for the disease–producing plant (p. 8). Holzinger then devoted 20 pages to the medical and neurological ill effects attributed to lathyrus consumption in a wide range of medical reports, comparing the symptoms of some other illnesses, mentioning Abyssinia on pp. 24–25, and noting on p. 29 his own separately published paper on nervous diseases in Abyssinia. In pp. 30–38, Holzinger presented twelve case histories of Galla (now called Oromo) and Abyssinian people aged between 18 and 35 having lathyrism, examined during the Russian Red Cross medical mission to Harar and Addis Ababa in 1896, some with much more detail than others. Ten of the lathyrism histories give the number of years that the patient reported being disabled: 2 years (1 patient); 3 years (2); 4 years (4); 6 years (1); 8 years (1); 10 years (1). Though these periods might not be accurate, they mostly place the origins of lathyrism within the period (1888–1892) of the great Ethiopian famine, or its aftermath. (Provisional Annotation)
HUSAYN, Taha (1929–32) al–Ayyam. 3 Vols. Cairo: Dar al–Ma`arif.
Vol. 1 Transl. E.H. Paxton (1932) An Egyptian Childhood. Washington: Three Continents Press.
Vol. 2 Transl. H. Wayment (1948) The Stream of Days. London: Longmans.
Vol. 3 Transl. K. Cragg (1976) A Passage to France. Leiden: Brill.
Famous autobiography of the earlier years of a blind Arab who became one of Egypt's outstanding Twentieth century literary figures and modernisers.
HUSSEY E.R.J. (1923) A fakir clinic. Sudan Notes and Records 6: 35–39.
IBRAHIM, Gindi Effendi (1932) Work among the blind in Egypt. Moslem World 22: 276–82.
Written by a blind Christian teacher. Brief historical background mentions blind schools begun at Alexandria in 1896 and at Zeitoun in 1901. From c. 1925 to 1931 the author started several more blind schools and a training workshop at Cairo, for both Muslims and Copts.
ILIFFE, John (1987) The African Poor. A history Cambridge Univ. Press.
Examining evidence of historical African poverty, and the disproportionate representation of disabled people among the poor, Iliffe chose to start with some 700 years of Ethiopia (pp. 9–29), from its own textual heritage (court and religious records, including alms and healings for disabled beggars) and travellers' accounts in which crowds of blind, crippled and leprous people were prominent from the early Sixteenth century onward. He quotes the astonished comments by a Portuguese priest, Francisco Alvarez, c. 1520, on the ordination to the priesthood of several blind or crippled men in Abyssinia. (Cf. SHODDE, below).
IN Cairo. (1909, Feb.) The Silent Worker 21 (No. 5).
Brief item in an American deaf magazine noting "the establishment of a school for the deaf in Cairo, where it has for three years had a prosperous existence," i.e. from 1905 or 1906. (See HEYWORTH–DUNNE).
INSTITUTION for the Blind, Secoures aux Aveugles, Zeitoun, Cairo (Egypt) (1903). Cairo. 9 pp.
Pamphlet introducing the Institution and giving details of its foundation in 1901, the people concerned, and work of educating young blind boys. Some Arabic Braille books were being produced.
INSTITUTION for the Welfare and Education of the Blind in Egypt (1906) Arabic Braille primer. Cairo. 23 pp.
JACONE I., GIAQUINTO–MIRA M., & BUCCO G. (1940) (First report of onchocerciasis in Italian East Africa.) Arch. Ital. Sci. Med. Colon. 21: 49–58.
EL KATTAN, Mahmoud Azmy (1931) The blind in Egypt. In: H. Lende, E.C. McKay & S.C. Swift (Ed.s) Proceedings of the World Conference on Work for the Blind, New York, U.S.A., April, 1931, 470–72.
Notes on formal schools, workshops, Braille, and the activities of some blind adults; also on prevention.
KHALIL, Mohamed (1925) The effect of parasitic disease on the intelligence of school children. J. Egyptian Med. Assoc. 8: 547–.
KHOLY W. (1950) Arabic: [Stuttering and stammering.] Egyptian J. Psychl 6 (1) 1–.
KIRK R. (1947) Observations on onchocerciasis in the Bahr el Ghazal Province of the Sudan. Annals of Trop. Medcn. & Parasitology 41: 357–64.
KRAUS G. (1952) Report on Mental Health Survey in Egypt. November–December 1951. EM/Ment/21, Alexandria, WHO/EMRO.
KRAUS G. (1953) Report on Mental Health Survey in the Sudan, December 7–14, 1952, EM/Ment/14, WHO/EMRO, March 1953.
Review for WHO, of the very modest and recently started mental health services then available, and some traditional practices.
* LABABIDI, Lesley & El–ARABI, Nadia (2002) Silent No More. Special needs people in Egypt. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press. xx + 195 pp. + 16 colour plates.
pp. 3–10, notes p. 172, give a very brief historical background of medical and charitable care in Egypt from antiquity to the 1950s. On pp. 8–9, mention is made of "Muhammad Anas," starting a blind school and developing an Arabic form of Braille, in the 1890s. Presumably this is the man referred to as "Onsy–Bey" by Abbate–Pacha, 1882 (q.v.), and by Fattah, 1954 (q.v.) as "Dr. Onsy," who opened his school in the 1870s.
LANE, Edward William (1890) An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians. Written in Egypt during the years 1833–1835. Reprinted from the Third Edition, 1842. London: Ward, Lock. xxiv + 552.
Disabled people appear in various aspects of Egyptian life (most of which are not easily found in the index). One of Lane's Arabic teachers and key informants was nearly blind (pp. xii–xiii); eye disease and blindness were common (pp. 2, 3, 23, 47, 139, 236–37); blind men were generally chosen to give the call to prayer (61), and other ceremonial or peculiar offices (165, 394, 418, 476), and were also allowed to walk at night without carrying a light (107). A college of blind men studying at al–Azhar Mosque is described (192–93). Some notes are given on harmless lunatics, simpletons and ‘holy fools’ (208–211, 398, 410). Other disability items appear on pp. 111, 177, 238, 299, 361, 415, 431, 494. Massage and joint manipulation took place in the bathhouse (311–14). Basic schooling is described (48–51). (See also CRECELIUS; HEYWORTH–DUNNE; LARREY)
LARREY, Baron de (1830) Bronchocele. Lancet (1) (No. 341) p. 832.
Extract from Baron de Larrey's "Clinique Chirugicale," notes that real bronchocele, or guttural hernia, or tumours in the upper trachea, larynx or mouth, may occur as a kind of ‘occupational disease.’ "In Egypt we frequently observed this kind of bronchocele in the blind, who are very numerous there and who are employed by the priests (i.e. the Muslim religious leaders) to chant at the top of the minarets. It generally happens, that after two or three years, such persons become totally unfit for this office, on account of the occurrence and subsequent increase of these tumours." The other instance given was in European junior officers who had been working as military instructors. (See also CRECELIUS; LANE, 1890)
LEFEBVRE, Théophile, PETIT A. & QUARTIN–DILLON R. (1845–1851) Voyage en Abyssinie. Paris.
Vol. 2, chapter 36, pp. 274–75. In May 1843, Lefebvre's party, which had scientific interests, was travelling toward Debra Libanos (also known as Tecla Haymanot), through crowds of curious onlookers, among whom were many suffering from leprosy. Visiting a church to inspect its library of five hundred books, they caused some offence by asking if there were any medical books. They were told that, if any could be found, such books would be burnt. What need of such remedies, when the miracles of Saint Tecla Haymanot were available! Later, calling at a monastery, Lefebvre found the monks rejoicing. An hour earlier (so he was told) the speech of two mute people had been restored by the saint's power.
LEWIS I.M. (1969) Spirit possession in Northern Somaliland. In: J. Beattie & J. Middleton (Ed.s) Spirit Mediumship and Society in Africa, 188–219. London.
LOBO, Jerome (1735) A Voyage to Abyssinia Transl. S. Johnson. London.
Father Lobo's journey took place in the 1620s. He noted (in Chapter 5) that some years earlier Abyssinia had been largely conquered by Arab and Turkish troops under a Moor "called Mahomet Gragne, or the Lame." (This warrior is elsewhere known as Ahmed Gragn, the Left–Handed.) At the end of Chapter 8, Lobo told an improbable tale about the devil, which he had heard from "a religious, who passed, though he was blind, for the most learned person in all that country. He had the whole Scriptures in his memory, but seemed to have been at more pains to retain them than to understand them."
LONDON SOCIETY for Teaching the Blind to Read (1858) Twentieth Report, presented April Thirteenth, 1858.
"Lucas' system of teaching the Blind to read has been extended ... to Egypt also, where blindness so much prevails." p.8. Maybe first record of embossed script use to teach blind people to read in Egypt.
MacCALLAN, Arthur F. (1913) Trachoma and its complications in Egypt. Cambridge UP.
MacCALLAN A.F. (1919) Causes of blindness in Egypt. American J. Ophthalmology 2: 736–37.
MacCALLAN A.F. (1934) Trachoma in the British Colonial Empire. Its relation to blindness: the existing means of relief: means of prophylaxis. British J. Ophthalmology 18: 626–45.
pp. 637–40, 644, trachoma and blindness in Palestine, Trans–Jordan and Egypt. "Palestine has ... a greater percentage of blind persons among her general population than any other country in the world" i.e. 843 per 100,000 (sic – but the figures 8.43% blind, 19.68% one eye blind, appear later).
MacCALLAN A.F. (1936) Trachoma. London: Butterworth. xvii + 225 pp.
Supersedes his 1913 publication on trachoma in Egypt. Much information throughout on Egypt, including social conditions.
MacMICHAEL H.A. (1934) Arab dumb show. Sudan Notes and Records 17: 129. More than 20 years earlier, in Northern Kordojan, MacMichael noted a "deaf and dumb man" who communicated a short history to him by a series of eloquent signs and gestures, which are here described.
MAGILL, Arthur N. (1955) Demonstration Centre for Rehabilitation and Training of the Blind. New York: UNTAA ST/TAA/K/ Egypt/1. 45 pp.
Report by Director, on set–up and first year's operation of Demonstration Centre at Zeitoun, near Cairo; including Home Teaching, personnel training and Braille printing programmes.
EL–MAHI, Tigani (1959) Arabic: [The concept of mental health in history.] extracted from the Egyptian Historical Society Review, No. 8, Cairo.
Lengthy paper by senior Sudanese psychiatrist.
MALTI–DOUGLAS F. (1988) Blindness and Autobiography. Al–Ayyam of Taha Husayn. Princeton UP. xi + 202 pp.
While examining Husayn's autobiography, Malti–Douglas reviews various aspects of blindness in Egypt and the Arab world.
MARCEL J.J. (Transl.) (1835) Précis historique et descriptif sur le Môristan, ou le grand hôpital des fous au Kaire, et sur le fondateur de cet établissement. In: Contes du Cheykh el–Mohdy II: 130–156. Paris.
MAYERS M.A. (1984) A Century of Psychiatry: the Egyptian mental hospitals. Diss. Princeton NJ.
MEATH M.J. (Countess of Meath) (1903) Industries for the blind in Egypt, Nineteenth Century and After 53: 1050–52.
Brief notes on marketable handicraft activities established for blind youths at Alexandria c. 1900.
MÉRAB, Dr. Étienne (1912) Médecins et médicine en Ethiopie. Paris: Vigot Frères.
Dr. Mérab worked for some years in Ethiopia as physician to Menelik II, and gave considerable detail of diseases and public health problems. Notes appear on moxa and cauterisation of wounds, with even a hunchback getting the heat treatment (pp. 19–21); congenital deformities such as club foot (rare) but many other anomalies of foot and hand, hare lip (frequent), a few hunchbacks, one case of spina bifida (52–53); leprosy (130–32). Mérab noted that local medical practitioners were perfectly familiar with lathyrism, and ascribed the "paraplégie spasmodique" to various kinds of pea called goia, which he identified as "Lathyrus–Cicer sativus ou gesses" (p. 139). He saw a few cases of epilepsy, but little mental illness; however, people supposedly oppressed or possessed by evil spirits were frequent (143–45). While generally not very complimentary about indigenous medicine, Mérab thought well of the reductions of fracture by bonesetters. Goitre was frequent in the mountainous areas. A description appears of infibulation and excision practised on women (186–89), as well as male circumcision and castration.
MÉRAB, (Dr.) (1921) Impressions d'Ethiopie (l'Abyssinie sous Ménélik II). Paris: Libert. 2 Vols..
I: 160–67, description of the Leprosarium at Harar, run by Capuchins, with photograph.
MILES M. (forthcoming 2006) Bibliography on Historical Lathyrus sativus and Lathyrism in North East Africa (Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia [Abyssinia], Libya, Sudan), with some annotation.
Draws evidence from agriculture, anthropology, archaeology, botany, economics, food use, geography, hagiography, medical history, philology etc., in two sections "Antiquity to 1749" and "1750 to 1960s." The Ethiopian vernacular name for lathyrus sativus, i.e. "sebere, sebbeure, etc." ("break[–leg]") was reported in European sources in the 1840s, and local knowledge of the crippling properties of the grass pea probably dates from much earlier. The continuing puzzle over arakos, aracus is traced from botanical evidence in antiquity, with the English equivalent muddle of "chickling," "wild chickling," "chickling vetch" etc. (c. 100 items are listed.)
MITRI, 'Amin (1948) Arabic: [The feeble–minded.] Alexandria: Dar Nashr 'Al Thaqafah.
MITTWOCH E. (1942) Popular Amharic texts, J. Royal African Socy 41 (No. 165) 261–67.
Includes an Ethiopian folk–story, about "a deaf judge and two deaf persons" (pp. 265–66). The two deaf people address one another but fail to receive the intended message. They quarrel, then go to a judge whose hearing is also impaired. He further confounds the issue.
MKHAYMIR S. (1949) Arabic: [Among the blind and the sighted.] Egyptian J. Psychl 4 (3) 443–.
Reflections from an educated man who lost his sight when 21 years old. The problems of adjusting to his new situation were greatly exacerbated by typical responses of sighted people towards ‘the blind.’
MOON, William (1877) Light for the Blind: a history of the origin and success of Moon's system of reading (embossed in various languages) for the blind. Third edition. London: Longmans.
Describes blind people using Moon literature (mainly portions of the Bible) during the 1860s and 1870s in Egypt (pp.46–48); Beirut, Syria (pp.48–53, 194–208); and Turkey (pp. 53–54).
MOURAD Y (1946) Arabic: [The child's mental growth and personality development.] Egyptian J. Psychl 2 (1) 1.
MUIR, Ernest (1937) Leprosy in the Southern Sudan. Transl. Royal Socy Trop. Medcn. & Hygiene 31 (1) 107–110.
MUIR E. (1939) Report on leprosy in (Anglo–Egyptian) Sudan. Leprosy Rev. 10 (1) 14–21.
Reported visits to Khartoum, Omdurman, and the "Leper Settlement" Li Rangu, and some other work, with suggestions for forward planning.
MUIR E. (1939) Leprosy in British Somaliland. Leprosy Rev. 10: 89–100
Description of the Berbera "Leper Camp" in August 1938, with considerable detail and suggestions for improved practice.
NEVEN–SPENCE, Basil (1949) Female circumcision in the Sudan. Lancet. 12 March, p. 457.
Letter from a Member of Parliament, U.K., contesting an earlier reassurance by the Minister of State that pharaonic circumcision had decreased sharply around Khartoum. Neven–Spence stated that "practically 100% of the girls in northern and central Sudan are subjected to circumcision, and the great majority of them to the ghastly form of mutilation known as Pharaonic circumcision."
PANKHURST R. (1984) The history of leprosy in Ethiopia to 1935. Medical History 28: 57–72.
Draws extensively on foreign travellers' reports from the Sixteenth century onward and resident foreign physicians mainly from the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, to picture a widespread condition resulting in large groups of beggars with severe leprosy damage. Discusses terminology, the usual confusion of leprosy with other skin conditions, and public beliefs and attitudes, based on religious and legal texts, iconography and hagiography. Notes some indigenous herbal treatments, and the start of institutional leprosaria, the first being founded in 1901, the second in 1934.
PANKHURST R. (1986) The thermal baths of traditional Ethiopia. J. Historical Medcn. 41: 308–318.
PANKHURST R. (1990) An Introduction to the Medical History of Ethiopia. Trenton NJ: Red Sea Press.
Rework and reprint of earlier papers on specific topics of Ethiopian medical history by this author, without references and notes. Original papers are listed on pp. 265–67. See index for e.g. amputation, arthritis, artificial limb, beggars, blind, bone–setting, eye diseases, goitre, fractures, leprosy, madness, paralysis, etc. (pp. 269–88).
PARKYNS, Mansfield (1854) Life in Abyssinia: being notes collected during three years' residence and travels in that country. New York: Appleton. 2 Vols.
Parkyns travelled rough around Abyssinia in the mid–1840s, wearing local dress, sleeping on the ground, eating local food. In I: 276–78, he wrote of a friend he made at Tokhulimny, one Aito Merratch, who was "usually accompanied by an idiot, named Maghovai, – a poor fellow whom he took about with him as an occasional source of amusement." This Maghovai suffered much harassment from the boys of the neighbourhood, who would goad him until he flew into a rage and engaged in some crazy behaviour. Parkyns offered to try to cure Maghovai, if he could have him for a while, to which Merratch agreed. Parkyns engaged in a textbook program of behaviour modification, rewarding desirable behaviour step by step, while at the same time working a change in public behaviour: "I forbade any one to laugh at him, or speak to him otherwise than to a sensible person. Even when he made any absurd mistakes in the little jobs I set him to do, I punished severely any of the people who might happen to titter." Under this regime, Maghovai "became quite steady and tolerably reasonable." Parkyns returned him to Merratch, and showed him how to continue the treatment, which he did successfully. (See comparable situation 120 years later in HALLPIKE, above, with different outcome).
RACY, John C. (1970) Psychiatry in the Arab East. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Supplement No. 211. Copenhagen: Munksgaard. 171 pp.
The second part (pp. 35–79) of this formidable and enlightening review describes psychiatric institutions, practice, teaching and research, and contributions from folklore, tradition and culture, with some materials from Egypt and Sudan. Part three (pp. 81–171) is an extensive annotated bibliography, including material in Arabic (transliterated), mostly from the 1920 to mid–1960s.
RAYNE, Henry (1921) Sun, Sand and Somals. Leaves from the note–book of a District Commissioner in British Somaliland. London: Witherby.
(N.B. "Somals" is correctly shown in the title, though some indexes have inadvertently modernised it to ‘Somalis.’) Based at the port of Zeila, near Djibouti, Major Rayne recorded activities in the daily administration of justice, finance, shipping, customs etc., introducing his Indian and Arab subordinates and various local characters. He collected the ‘Poor Fund’ from wealthier citizens, dispensed it to "cripples, some of whom crawl on all fours, frail bent old men and women, deformed children," and tested the stories of some who were blind or pretended to be so (pp. 24–28). An elderly petitioner at court, "not in a sound state of mind," was humoured in his delusion of being the king of kings and quietly put off to another day (pp. 41–42). The author, surrounded by servile politeness, was visited by an old desert leader, "a real live savage," who sharply punctured any delusions of grandeur in the District Commissioner (pp. 60–62). The story is told of a pearl diver with a wooden leg, and the quarrel between him and his blind neighbour, for which the court tried a temporary solution (pp. 145–154).
RICHARDS M.C. (1927) Medical treatment by Bor witch–doctors. Sudan Notes and Records 10: 241–42.
RIZZOTTI, Giovanni (1952) Il latirismo in Etiopia. (Lathyrism in Ethiopia). Archivio Italiano di scienze mediche coloniali e di parassitologia 33: 493–500.
Briefly (pp. 493–494) reviews some European and Indian lathyrism literature published between 1947 and 1950. The sole previous local reference is Ferro–Luzzi, 1947 (q.v.) The local name of lathyrism is given as "guaia besctà" meaning "disease by lathyrus." Rizzotti, who was director of the Ras Desta Damtew Hospital, Addis Ababa, saw three cases of lathyrism during 12 years residence in Ethiopia. He presents case reports in some detail (pp. 495–499), of patients aged 20, 31, and 37, from the regions of Tigrai, Gore, and Tigrai, seen respectively in 1943, 1946, and 1951. Notes are given on nutritional status, muscle condition, gait, laboratory tests, and the outcome of treatment. (Notes for the first patient were constructed later).
EL–SAADI, Hoda (2005) Changing attitudes towards women's madness in nineteenth century Egypt. Hawwa 3 (3) 293–308.
SANDWITH F.M. (1889) The Cairo Lunatic Asylum, 1888. J. Mental Science 34: 473–90.
Brief mention of ‘idiots’ at the asylum and in the community.
"A SCHOOL for the Deaf in Egypt" (1941). Volta Review 43 (2) 98–99.
Short report of Madame Sémély Tsotsou who founded "L'Ecole L'Espoir" for 30 deaf children at Alexandria in 1934.
SCOTT G.C. (1948) Intelligence testing in the Sudan. Sudan Notes and Records 29: 107–119.
Account in some detail of the trials and tribulations of devising, testing, adjusting and attempting to validate general intelligence tests for schoolchildren in different age–bands, with various samples of several hundred Sudanese children. Part of the purpose was to select children for more advanced education; but Scott suggests that the tests can help improve education and career counselling for both the clever and the stupid.
AL–SHARABASI, Ahmad (1956) Fi `alam al–makfufin [Plight of the Blind.] Cairo. 399 pp.
SINGER C. (1905) Notes on cases of elephantiasis and of thyroid growth met with in Southwestern Abyssinia in March 1904. J. Trop. Medcn. (London) 8: 17–19.
SORGE E. (1944) [Goitre in Eritrea.] Boll. Soc. Ital. Med. Ig. Trop. (Sez. Eritrea) 3: 405–421.
SORICELLI F. (1943) [Rare congenital malformations in Eritreans.] Boll. della Società Italiana di Medicina e Igiene Tropicale. (Sezione Eritrea) 2 (3) 106–114.
SPARTALIS P.J. (1981) To the Nile and Beyond. (The work of the Sudan United Mission). Homebush West, New South Wales: Anzea Publishers
pp. 113–24, on medical and healing aspects of mission, recounts the start of leprosy programmes in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, in the 1950s, the Nyakma Leprosy Settlement, and itinerant leprosy treatment work (based on R. Conwell, 1956, q.v.). On pp. 23–24 a photo and description appears of the "One–Legged People of Herodotus" (i.e. described by the ancient historian Herodotus), identified by the author as Dinka tribesmen who have "the habit of standing on one foot to rest, while the other foot is placed on the knee of the supporting leg." (In the photo, balance is maintained by each man holding on to a spear). Some post–1960 notes also appear, on people with leprosy, their situation after the mission was forced to leave, and later leprosy control efforts (pp. 178–79, 188–92).
SQUIRES H.C. (1958) The Sudan Medical Service. An experiment in social medicine. London: Heinemann. xii + 138 pp.
Dr. Squires arrived in Khartoum in 1908, and served for 43 years in various capacities. His book is strong on biography of medical staff, many of whom he must have known. An overview of leprosy, and the start of services, appears on pp. 102–104. The "Lee Stack home for indigent and blind," named after a Governor General who was murdered at Cairo in 1924, is mentioned as part of missionary work at Omdurman in the 1930s.
STILLER, Josef (1973) Das Leprosen–Hospital Bisidimo. Z. Kulturaustausch, 195–97.
STRELCYN, Stefan (1965) Les écrits médicaux Ethiopien. J. Ethiopian Studies 3 (1) 82–104.
TALOTTA, Giuseppe (1932) La lebbra in Eritrea. Arch. Ital. Sci. Med. Colon. 13: 193–99.
TOWNSEND–COLES W.F. & FINDLAY G.M. (1953) Poliomyelitis in relation to intramuscular injections of quinine and other drugs. Transl. Royal Socy for Tropical Medcn. & Hygiene 47 (1) 77–81.
Eight cases are presented of African children in the Northern Sudan, in whom apparent polio paralysis of a limb occurred at some interval after an injection into that limb. Evidence for aggravation or provocation polio is discussed.
URQUHART A.R. & TUKE W.S. (1879) Two visits to the Cairo Asylum. J. Mental Sci. 25: 43–53.
At the time, the sole institution in the region where formal care was given to ‘idiots,’ among the ‘insane.’ See also: SANDWITH; WARNOCK.
VAN ROOYEN C.E. & MORGAN A.D. (1943) Poliomyelitis; experimental work in Egypt. Edinburgh MJ 50: 705–720.
WALKER, John (1931) Folk–medicine in modern Egypt. The Moslem World XXI: 6–13.
Includes some notes on supposed remedies for a variety of eye diseases, leprosy, convulsions, evil eye.
WALKER J. (1934) Folk Medicine in Modern Egypt. Being the relevant parts of the Tibb al–Rukka or Old Wives' Medicine of `Abd al–Rahman Isma`il. London: Luzac. 128 pp.
Some attempted treatments of various disabling illnesses.
WALLIN, Geo A. (1855) Narrative of a journey from Cairo to Jerusalem, via Mount Sinai, translated and communicated by Dr. Shaw. J. Royal Geographical Socy of London 25: 260–90.
On pp. 278–280, Professor Wallin wrote in detail of meeting two deaf Beduin, in the vicinity of Aqaba. The first used some incoherent speech and signs; the second communicated only by signs. Wallin's Beduin guide translated an alarming story of skirmishing and escape from the first man, but Wallin thought this tale lacked credibility, so the guide "undertook to question the deaf man more closely by signs and sounds" (p. 279), from which a different story emerged, focusing on a lost camel. The second deaf man, an elderly fisherman, later returned from a journey, still without the camel, and met Wallin and the others. The missing camel became a cause of heated debate between the two deaf men. The first deaf man accompanied Wallin and his guide around the bay of Aqaba, and retrieved his camel. The events give early examples of detailed communication, in the Middle East, between a hearing man and two deaf men, using various means at their disposal.
WARNOCK, John (1924) Twenty–eight years' lunacy experience in Egypt (1895–1923). J. Mental Sci. 70: 233–61; 380–410; 579–612.
Lengthy experience of the British superintendent of the Abbasiya Lunatic Asylum, with description and details of its slow progress into the Twentieth century. Finding a remote, chaotic and dangerous place of confinement in 1895, and lacking any Arabic, Warnock doubted whether he could do anything. However, by stages Abbasiya was cleaned up, rebuilt, extended and modernised to something recognisable as a mental hospital, with patients' records, daily physical exercise, occupational therapy, the cessation of medieval methods of treatment (and of sewage disposal), and attention to patients' general health and safety. The changes and progress of other mental health services is described, and the legal, financial and administrative obstacles to all progress. Some remarks are included about official and community attitudes, pp. 395–96, 585, 598–99.
WOODMAN, Hugh M. (1937) Some results of treatment of leprosy in the Southern Sudan. Transl. Royal Socy for Tropical Medcn. & Hygiene 30: 631–.
WOODMAN H. (1952) Endemic goitre in central Africa. EAMJ 29: 217–28.
Discusses in some detail the features of endemic goitre and its environment in a belt of south western Sudan, with notes on surgical treatment of 159 cases. Cretinism was notably absent.
WORSLEY A. (1938) Infibulation and Female Circumcision. J. Obstretics & Gynaecology of the British Empire 45: 686–91.
Based at the Church Missionary Society Hospital, Omdurman, Worsley reported that "Seven years' practice as a gynaecological surgeon among the primitive tribeswomen of Sudan, gave me an insight into this subject which must be almost unique." He reported some slow diminution and mitigation of the practice, over time.
WORTHINGTON E.B. (1946) Middle East Science. A survey of subjects other than agriculture. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. xiii + 239 pp. + maps.
pp. 140–95 reviews ‘Human Diseases,’ ‘Nutrition,’ ‘Health & Medical Services,’ ‘Population & Social Studies,’ across the Middle East, with more attention to Egypt, northern Sudan, Palestine, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, based on extensive tours, official data, and circulation of drafts.
WYLDE, Augustus B. (1901) Modern Abyssinia. London: Methuen.
At Abbi–Addi, and Macalle, Wylde enjoyed the company of Barrambaras Marou, a dwarf and court jester (pp. 187–88, 295–97), also a married man in his 50s who was well–informed and capable of making up by ingenuity for his lack of height. Wylde also commented on the unpleasant custom of mutilating punishments (213–214, 310).
ZAMBACO PACHA (1891) Voyages chez les lépreux. L'Égypte, la Palestine, les Iles de Mételin, de Chio, Samos, Chypre, Candie, etc. Paris: Masson. 407 pp.
Lengthy, detailed reports from these places.
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