Medicine: The Medieval Pattern

In the years before Congolese independence, Belgium's starchly paternalistic colonial officials were fond of boasting that the standard of medical care in the Congo was the highest in all Africa. Last week the boast sounded more hypocritical than Hippocratic.

Within one short week after Belgium turned the Congo over to Patrice Lumumba last June 30, all but 100 of 1,200 Belgian doctors hastily packed their bags and fled—some of them alarmed by the breakdown of order, the stories of white nuns raped, the feeling that in many places a Belgian was no longer safe....

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