Flying doctor sees hope for health in AfricaBMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7099.7n (Published 05 July 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:7
Dr Anne Spoerry, one of the pioneers of east Africa's flying doctor service, has “seen Africa at its best and at its worst.” She tells Sam Crowe why she believes that a better era is dawning after the past few years of deteriorating healthcare resources and conditions.
Before coming to east Africa, Dr Spoerry had travelled extensively throughout the Middle East, but it was de Montfried's descriptions of Ethiopia that had fired her imagination. After completing medical school in Paris, she spent a year in Basle, gaining a diploma in tropical medicine. She then set sail for Aden and Djibouti, from where she flew to Ethiopia, but she was disappointed to be told there was no hope of a medical job. In 1949 Dr Spoerry first came to Kenya to visit friends after a spell working in a hospital in Aden. In just 15 days she decided that this was to be her adopted country, and she began working as a doctor to local farmers in Ol Kalou in 1950.
Dr Spoerry joined the flying doctors in …