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Noises After Dark : Memoirs of a Doctor in East Africa

John Tomlinson
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Troubador Publishing (Matador)
Published: June 28, 2023
ISBN: 9781803137070
336 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom


“When I went to medical school, I never dreamt, that as a doctor, one day the biggest contribution I would make to people’s health, would be to hand out plastic sheets and blankets under armed guard.”

Moved by the devastating media coverage of the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia in 1985, John Tomlinson packed his bags to volunteer for the Save the Children Fund with the intent to help rebuild, and run, a small hospital in a Northern Somali town on the border with Ethiopia. However, faced with diminishing supplies, poorly trained staff and murmurs of civil unrest, the enormity of the task soon became clear. When the actions of a resentful colleague led to his wrongful imprisonment and the escalation of ongoing tribal conflicts drew ever closer, the safety of his staff and himself became increasingly compromised.

Set in the context of a country that is not yet at peace, Noises After Dark offers first-hand experiences of historical events, and pays tribute to the unsung heroes working in conflict zones back then and today. Proving that humour and heartcan still be found in the darkest of places, John’s memoir reveals the truth, both good and bad, behind the news stories and ultimately how his time there led to his realisation that health is not only about health care.

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