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Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook
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Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  621 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Hesperian's classic manual, Where There Is No Doctor, is perhaps the most widely-used health care manual in the world.

Useful for health workers, clinicians, and others involved in primary health care delivery and health promotion programs, with millions of copies in print in more than 75 languages, the manual provides practical, easily understood information on how to dia
Paperback, 446 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by Hesperian Foundation (first published October 28th 1977)
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Nov 17, 2011 Cameron rated it it was amazing
I first started using this book when I worked in a refugee camp in 1984. Since then I've used material from it in training workshops in 12 different countries. It's hard to overemphasize how important this book is, not only as a text, but from a philosophical standpoint: Werner has spent his life trying to decrease our dependence on the medical establishment and this book does it perfectly, carefully noting when and why we need to seek professional care, but listing all the areas of health that ...more
Feb 06, 2012 Chloe rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. I keep going back to this (especially when I'm sick and want to check my symptoms) and I get more and more out of it every time. The fact is that most people who get sick in rural areas don't have really complicated illnesses, but since they're poor and have little to no access to over-the-counter type medications, things go unchecked and turn into more serious problems. This book not only has great basic medical info, but lots of prevention ideas and talks a lot about social jus ...more
Jun 21, 2012 Angela rated it it was amazing
reviewing this because barrett did. this book is fabulous. what was the quote?

"his mother will say it was because he ate sweets. but no, it is because he has eaten shit!"
Ryan Monaghan
May 17, 2012 Ryan Monaghan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you have joined the Peace Corps, you have read this book...and probably reread it about twenty five times after. It is an immense source of knowledge of medical conditions, treatments and resources available for communities without professional help available. Everything from how to take blood pressure (and what those results actually mean) to a differential diagnosis of stomach pain, it has become essential to me in working with community health workers learning to deal with major medical pr ...more
Arini Miftahul
May 14, 2014 Arini Miftahul rated it it was amazing
even though I'm a student, but I have interest with everything about doctor.
and this book really helped me to know everything about type of sickness or something like that.
One thing you have to know, this book realllyy thick !
But I finished it for 3 days, hehe
what a good book!
Kat Davis
Aug 30, 2015 Kat Davis rated it really liked it
I'm reading this book as research for some piece of fiction I am writing. Even though my piece is set in a fantasy realm, I thought perhaps some of the practical things would be useful. From a quick skim I can tell that it will be, and besides, I may learn something I will have to use myself!

Having now finished the book, I can see it would be an essential thing to have of you lived in a remote village area. Descriptions are simple and very easy to understand and really useful for sometime who is
Jul 30, 2009 Christine rated it liked it
This was my medical reference book during my time in the Peace Corps. I think I diagnosed myself with African River Blindness about 200 times.
Nov 09, 2013 Tinea rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those with limited access to healthcare; those who provide any kind of healthcare
Recommended to Tinea by: housemate in Mali
Where There is No Doctor is a guide for caring for people's health when resources are extremely limited because of distance, poverty, or poor infrastructure. It's an incredible resource, comprehensive yet written in simple, clear language intended to be accessible to someone with basic literacy. You can use the book to look up specific illnesses, symptoms, and medications, or browse by chapter for more holistic information about conditions impacting different body systems or groups of people (ch ...more
Oct 14, 2015 Jaguar rated it it was amazing
Ok, so funny as it sounds, I wasn't suppose to START read this book for anatomy for another 3 weeks. This week I read two chapters of my anatomy textbook instead of one, which was suppose to be read next week. Still with me? Meaning that after I finished the two chapters I was suppose to read the 1st half of this book! (I read it online as a PDF.) And the 2nd half the week after! I was suppose to read this book in two weeks...
*People underestimate my own power sometimes.
So since I already finish
Hannah Emery
Apr 12, 2015 Hannah Emery rated it really liked it
Research book for me, pure and simple, but I also can see how it would be extremely useful in its intended function: gave a lot of valuable information, simply explained, about everything from common diseases and childbirth to nutrition and how to manage fairly complex first aid. I may be picking up a copy of this for my writers' library, and I'm very glad it's out there as a reference in places where it's needed.
Sep 01, 2016 Peter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: medical
Fantastic book with a common sense approach to medicine. Unfortunately some of the treatment plans are outdated. I can't wait to read it again and look up the current recommendations (and know that if I am in a part of the world with no resources, I have the old plan B). I wish I had read this years ago.
May 30, 2009 Lee rated it it was amazing
If you have an interest in promoting human security and believe in basic healthcare as a fundamental human right, this is your handbook. If you are doing a volunteer mission in a developing country, and I have in parts of Africa, the no nonsense logic of this will absolutely save lives. I think it was Einstein who said, All things should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. Well, this book makes the basics as simple as it can without being a full blown medical course. Basic sanitation ...more
Jun 10, 2016 David rated it it was amazing
I can't say much about the contents, but I love having copies in prominent places on my coffee table and my office bookshelf for all visitors to see.
Apr 01, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing
Good field manual but not a cover-to-cover read really. Excellent for dealing with health issues while in remote places or developing countries.
Dec 31, 2007 Wayne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
All the stuff you learned in Health class and all the stuff you should have but didn't. Indispensible. This is basically a handbook for people who are charged with the task of providing health care to people in undeveloped countries. It tells you basic diagnosis and treatment for common ailments, and also teaches you how to teach them how to keep themselves healthy. It's cartoonish and seemingly dumbed down at times, but don't underestimate this book. Even if you're an MD, you'll be surprised at ...more
Andd Becker
Jan 14, 2015 Andd Becker rated it really liked it
This handbook for health care workers in a village has useful illustrations and info on basic health care.
Apr 14, 2014 Darla rated it really liked it
Very informative..a must for living in a developing country.
Dec 25, 2013 Jennifer is currently reading it
I can already tell that this book is a very valuable resource, especially for those in places far away from modern medicine. I also like the philosophy of the author: medical care is a human right and should not be solely controlled by a small number of individuals. "Some doctors talk about self-care as if it were dangerous, perhaps because they like people to depend on their costly services. But in truth, most common health problems could be handled earlier and better by people in their own hom ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Jonathan rated it liked it
A very simple, readable, and practical health guide for poor communities. Enables one to both self-diagnosis many of their own issues and work as a health care advisor for others. The edition I read was quite a bit out of date, but I assume has been updated well in more recent editions. Of course, it is not fully comprehensive, and no book could be, but as long as it is taken as a tool for the most common issues, I think it could be very helpful.
Jul 01, 2011 Lisa rated it it was ok
This book was SO not what I expected. It was mostly just common sense things, and what meds to treat things with. Meds that here in the states you have to get from a doc.
Was looking for a book on really how to treat things when there are "No Doctors" . . . what Herbs to use, how to take out a bullet, how to mend a broken bone & make a cast, those kinds of things.

Guess my book search continues. Maybe "Culpeper's Complete Herbal" will be my next try
Oct 18, 2011 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing! it gives you all the resources to help anyone in need. Very well written, with images and good descriptions. It starts from the most basic help like encouraging good hygiene to assessing one's symptoms and helping to treat their illness. It's written for any regular person to follow easily, with no medical terms and no experience necessary.
Jun 20, 2007 HeavyReader rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who live in rural areas
Shelves: health-medical
Vital to folks living away from doctors and hospitals. Goes farther than basic first aid and will help you decide what the problem is and if it can be treated at home.

My favorite part of the book is its assertion that a lot of times all people need to get well is water (in the right application, ie, liquid, ice, steam) and rest.

Highly recommended.
Apr 10, 2007 Cristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for basic first aid/healthcare
This was an absolutely essential book for me when I was living abroad. I was able to diagnose and treat myself as well as help out my friends and neighbors. It is published in many, many languages and gives simple yet accurate information on everything from preparing a kit for child birth to dealing with snake bite. Love it.
Dec 14, 2010 Aviva rated it it was amazing
This book was great for a Peace Corps volunteer in a small village in the middle of nowhere - it helped avoid having to ask my colleagues at the health center about different symptoms etc. On the other hand, it could also cause a lot of unnecessary worry on the part of volunteers who leaned in a hypochondriac direction.
Jan 16, 2009 Mariah rated it it was amazing
A great basic book on health to have on hand in developing countries. I consulted this book many times during my health work as PC volunteer, it even gives instructions on how to deliver a baby and do minor surgeries. I luckily didn't have to consult those sections at all!
Cristian A. Sierra
Apr 04, 2008 Cristian A. Sierra rated it it was amazing
Ever want to learn how to do guerrilla medicine in the middle of nowhere? Want to know how much antibiotic is enough? How to perform simple procedures? This is the book for you. Peace Corp volunteer, this is a must. Also, an interesting read for the medi-curious...
Sep 02, 2008 Cathy rated it it was amazing
I purchased this book so I can be ready for any disaster...OK, I don't know how ready I'll be, but this book gives a lot of info on helping people with small medical problems to having babies and keeping a clean environment in times of disaster. Very informative.
Jasmine Star
Nov 18, 2008 Jasmine Star rated it liked it
This book can be helpful when you really have no other more scientific is also hilarious to read...especially its terminology. There is literally a section called "fat people" and in a section about not getting sick it says, "don't eat shit"
Jun 13, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: done
This book is a manual on ALL types of medical health care just as the title reads. It also gives schematics to sanitary, irrigation, planting crops & drug substitutes. Suggestions on how to maintain a healthy community. A very valuable book of knowledge.
Apr 03, 2010 Trish added it
I want to buy this again. something happened to mine. but i used this ALL the time in peacecorps and just after. This is a Great home resource! everyone should have one. (i helped on a cookbook we later called "where there is no take away." )
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