Where There Is No Doctor

    Where There Is No Doctor

    David Werner, Carol Thuman, Jane Maxwell  |  2024


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    The most widely-used manual for health workers, educators, and others involved in primary care and health promotion around the world. Revised in February 2024 to include updated information on night blindness, and vitamin A deficiency, polio, and dislocated hip in infants. Also available in Spanish, Portuguese, Kreyol, Urdu, and Bambara.

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    “Health care is not only everyone’s right, but everyone’s responsibility.”

    Where There Is No Doctor

    Considered by the World Health Organization to be the most widely-used health care manual in the world, this classic title is for health workers, clinicians, health educators, midwives, community leaders, and others involved in primary health care delivery and health promotion around the world. This accessible, richly illustrated, and practical guide covers a wide range of health issues from common illnesses to nutrition, the health of children to health and care of the elderly, and from family planning and childbirth to serious illnesses like tuberculosis. Throughout there is an emphasis on addressing the underlying causes of poor health and a focus on cleanliness, healthy diet, vaccinations, and an appropriate, cautious use of medication, including an examination of helpful and harmful home remedies.

    Where There Is No Doctor equips readers to protect and care for their own health and that of their families and their communities, and helps identify which problems need the attention of an experienced health worker.

    This newly revised edition includes current medication information such as updates on antibiotics and other medicines, HIV treatment and prevention, malaria treatment, and prevention of pre-eclampsia for pregnant women. It expands further on diabetes, heart problems, family planning, reproductive health , and much more.

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    Table of Contents (PDF)

    Chapter 3: How to Examine a Sick Person (PDF)

    Praise for Where There Is No Doctor

    Where There Is No Doctor is an indispensable resource…This book has been, quite literally, a lifesaver for the poor – even where there is a doctor.”
    Paul Farmer, Harvard Medical School; Co-Founder, Partners in Health

    “Home health care manuals are a dime a dozen, but this in is in a league by itself…This amazing manual successfully brings together modern concepts of public health and personal health care into a usable and understandable format for the Third World villager. If you are a physician, dentist, or nurse planning to volunteer on a medical mercy mission, review this book ahead of time and take it with you.”
    Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 125, No. 12

    “I’ll never forget the day when I came home from school, and found my host mother weeping because she had found out that she was pregnant again with her 9th child. I went straight to my copy of Where There Is No Doctor, and I read the sections on prenatal care, safe labor and delivery, postnatal care, and nutrition. It was on the basis of the book that she agreed to go with me and deliver her baby at a health center. Within moments of giving birth, she went into postpartum hemorrhage, and she would have died if she hadn’t been in the presence of a trained provider. It was that book that taught me that I needed to help her to get to a health center - and her life was absolutely saved by that action.”
    Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Samoa

    “Your book Where There Is No Doctor is our ‘bible’ of health education and is the first tool with which we equip organizations new to our program. The full body of Hesperian publications is our encyclopedia, and our experience has shown that once we have your publications we need look no further for health education. Even if we did look, we wouldn’t find anything. There nothing out there like it!”
    Ellen Vor der Bruegge, former Vice President of Innovations, Freedom from Hunger

    “I consider Where There Is No Doctor my health bible. I carry it with me on every trip I take, and refer to it often. The information provided in this book is simple, straightforward, and easy to read. I would highly recommend that any person planning to serve overseas have a personal copy for reference.”
    Anita Good, Mennonite Central Committee, Honduras