Where There is No Doctor is the most widely used health education book in tropical and sub-tropical developing countries. Based on David Werner's experiences at his Project Piaxtla in western Mexico, it was originally written in Spanish as Donde No Hay Doctor. It has since been revised and has sold over one million copies and been translated into over 100 languages. It covers all aspects of people's health ranging from diarrhoea to malaria and bone fractures and ringworm. Special emphasis is placed on hygiene, a healthy diet and vaccinations, and the book explains to readers what they can do themselves and how to prevent, recognise and treat many common sicknesses. It also shows them how to recognise problems they are unable to cope with and need to refer to a health worker. This new revised edition includes information about some additional health problems such as AIDS, dengue fever, complications from abortion, drug addiction and covers in detail both childbirth and family planning.

Its distribution is worldwide. The US Peace Corps has distributed it in The Gambia. In the British Medical Journal a review said:

Chances are that if you visited a remote district hospital in a developing country you would find a well thumbed copy of Where There Is No Doctor in its library. The book is intended primarily for village health workers, but generations of doctors and medical missionaries who have worked in under-resourced communities globally will vouch for its value in providing concise reliable information.

Another example would be Uzbekistan where a United States Agency for International Development grant enabled a team under Dr Donald Elsworth and Robert Graves of Central Asian Free Exchange to translate the book into Uzbek. The Nepali version of this book was translated by Dr Yogendra Pradhanang, which is very popular in Nepal.

Copyright status[edit | edit source]

Werner, D., Thuman, C., & Maxwell, J. (1992). Where there is no doctor. Palo Alto, California: The Hesperian Foundation.

The Hesperian Foundation make the entire book freely available to download from their site but they do not permit other sites to host it because that could lead to out of date information continuing to circulate.

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Wikipedia:Where There is No Doctor
  • Where there is no Doctor is published by The Hesperian Foundation and the entire book and other Hesperian Foundation publications are available to download as pdfs from there. They are happy to have other organizations link to their online publications, but in order to prevent out-of-date or altered editions of our publications from being accessed online, they do not allow their publications to be posted on other sites.

Chapter list[edit | edit source]

This chapter list was downloaded on 12 December 2009. Check at the download page for the latest information or to download a chapter.

  • Table of Contents: Introduction, Note About This New Edition
  • Front matter: Cover, How to Use This Book, Acknowledgements
  • Brown Pages: Words To The Village Health Worker
  • Chapter 1: Home Cures and Popular Beliefs
  • Chapter 2: Sicknesses that are Often Confused
  • Chapter 3: How to Examine a Sick Person
  • Chapter 4: How to Take Care of a Sick Person
  • Chapter 5: Healing Without Medicines
  • Chapter 6: Right and Wrong Use of Modern Medicines
  • Chapter 7: Antibiotics: What They Are and How To Use Them
  • Chapter 8: How To Measure and Give Medicine
  • Chapter 9: Instructions and Precautions for Injections
  • Chapter 10: First Aid
  • Chapter 11: Nutrition: What to Eat to Be Healthy
  • Chapter 12: Prevention: How to Avoid Many Sicknesses
  • Chapter 13: Some Very Common Sicknesses
  • Chapter 14: Serious Illnesses That Need Special Medical Attention
  • Chapter 15: Skin Problems
  • Chapter 16: The Eyes
  • Chapter 17: The Teeth, Gums, and Mouth
  • Chapter 18: The Urinary System and the Genitals
  • Chapter 19: Information for Mothers and Midwives
  • Chapter 20: Family Planning- Having the Number of Children You Want
  • Chapter 21: Health and Sicknesses of Children
  • Chapter 22: Health and Sicknesses of Older People
  • Chapter 23: The Medicine Kit
  • The Green Pages: The Uses, Dosage, and Precautions for Medicines
  • The Blue Pages: New Information
  • Vocabulary: Explaining Difficult Words
  • Information: Addresses for Teaching Materials, Dosage Blanks, Patient Report, Information on Vital Signs, Abbreviations, Weight, Volume
  • Index (Yellow Pages)

Sources[edit | edit source]

This page is based on information from Wikipedia and from The Hesperian Foundation

FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Authors Joe Raftery
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related subpages, pages link here
Aliases Where there is no Doctor, Where There is no Doctor, Where There Is No Doctor, AT Sourcebook/Where There Is No Doctor
Impact 817 page views
Created December 12, 2009 by Joe Raftery
Modified April 7, 2024 by Kathy Nativi
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