Observations Upon the Windward Coast of Africa eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 148 pages of information about Observations Upon the Windward Coast of Africa.
in persons otherwise healthy, but it is productive of great debility, which requires a careful regimen; if it continues to a protracted period, its consequences are often fatal.  In my own case, a dysentery followed the fever, and reduced me to a mere skeleton.  The dry belly-ache is another dangerous disease, accompanied by general languor, a decrease of appetite, a viscous expectoration, and fixed pain in the stomach.  Opium is considered an efficacious medicine in this disease, and is administered with great perseverance, accompanied by frequent fomentations.  An infusion of ginger drank in the morning has frequently good effects.  Flannel assists excretion, and is found beneficial. Tetanos is also another disease peculiar to Africa, and is a kind of spasm and convulsive contraction, for which opium is the usual remedy.

The Guinea worm is another disease among the natives, which is productive of tumours upon the body and limbs, productive of great pain, and is a contagious disease.  This, however, is a subject without my province, and which has been ably treated upon by gentlemen, whose profession fully qualified them for the investigation.  In addition to the many valuable treatises upon tropical diseases, from high authority, I would recommend Dr. Winterbottom’s publication to the reader, as, embracing highly important local information upon the diseases of the Windward Coast.

I have only touched on those which have more immediately come within my personal observation.  Too much care cannot be taken by Europeans in drinking, and even washing in the waters of Africa, which should always undergo a filtering preparation, and I am persuaded that great circumspection should be used in this respect:  these and other precautions, with a generous, but regular system of living, would no doubt tend to diminish the fatal tendency of diseases in Africa.

Without doubt, a series of professional observations and enquiry into the temperature and periodical variations of the climate of Africa, and its diseases, would be attended with the most important advantages to the science of physic, and might ultimately prove of incalculable consequence in preserving the valuable lives of our brave soldiers and sailors, exposed to all the ravages of tropical climates.  Advantages that are well worth the attention of government, which would train up a body of physicians and surgeons, initiated into the mysteries of the diseases peculiar to those countries, which might tend to preserve a large portion of human beings of the utmost consequence and importance to the state; and it might form a part in the organization of colonial establishments, to attach thereto an institution of this nature.


The Author visits the Isles de Loss.—­Remarks on those Islands.—­Touches at the River Scarcies.—­Arrives at the Colony of Sierra Leone.—­Embarks for the West Indies—­Lands at the Colony of Demerory.—­Some Observations on the Productions of that Colony, Berbice, and Essequibo, and on the Importance of Dutch Guiana to the United Kingdom, in a political and commercial View.

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Observations Upon the Windward Coast of Africa from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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