Sierra Leone and its medical links with Glasgow

The Baton Relay begins its tour of African Commonwealth countries today (31.12.2013), starting in Sierra Leone.

The University of Glasgow’s connections with Sierra Leone started in the late eighteenth century and coincided with the foundation of its capital city, Freetown. Medical graduate Thomas Masterman Winterbottom (MD 1792) served as a physician to the then colony of Sierra Leone for seven years, publishing his experiences and observations in An account of the native Africans in the neighbourhood of Sierra Leone (1803). He was also the first to describe African sleeping sickness, whose diagnostic characteristic is today known as Winterbottom’s sign.

Frank Bright Marke (DC225/1/31)

Frank Bright Marke (DC225/1/31)

Arthur Samuel Leighton Decker (DC225/1/34)

Arthur Samuel Leighton Decker (DC225/1/34)

This tradition of medicine continued between Glasgow and Sierra Leone; the first Sierra Leonean were medical graduates, Frank Bright Marke, MB ChB 1933, and Taiwo Arthur Samuel Leighton-Decker, MB ChB 1936.

For more information about our historical connections with Sierra Leone, please visit the International Story, Sierra Leone country pages.

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Filed under Africa, Commonwealth of Nations

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