Intended for healthcare professionals


Francis John Bennett

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 14 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4191
  1. Jennifer Bennett,
  2. Jian Farhoumand

Francis John Bennett (known as John) devoted his life to the improvement of public health throughout Africa, and is regarded as the “Father of Primary Health Care in Africa.” He was born in Sesheke, Barotseland (now Zambia), a rural village surrounded by swamps and forests. When John was 5 years old he was sent to boarding school in a neighbouring country by way of dug-out canoe on the river, then narrow-gauge railway through a logging plantation, and finally a steam train. Thanks to this childhood, John became a true renaissance man. Outside medicine his wider interests and knowledge spanned anthropology, zoology, ornithology, herpetology, botany, and geology. Some of …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription