ISSN 2409-5834

A Doctor from Russia in Belgian Congo: Yakov Schwetz

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V.K. Ronin


In the years of 1908−1909 the newly founded Belgian colony in Africa was in desperate need of physicians and other specialists. A signifi cant contribution into the development of medical aid in Congo and the battle against Human African Trypanosomiasis (also known as sleeping sickness) was made by Dr. Yacov Schwetz (1847−1957), born in Vitebsk Governorate. An energetic physician and organizer, he became an entomologist with a world name: he discovered one of the species of the tsetse fl y, a carrier of the human sleeping sickness; it was named after him (Glossina Schwetzi). Even at the age of 70, Schwetz continued his fi eld research in the tropics and was always able to fi nd common ground with the local population.

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