26 December 2011

Divining Without Seeds by Iruka N. Okeke

Divining Without SeedsDivining Without Seeds by Iruka N. Okeke
My rating: ★★

When I heard Dr. Okeke was publishing a book about the importance of microbiology and diagnostics in Africa, I knew I was going to buy it as soon as it came out. Well, I did buy it, and it's some of the best money I've spent all year.

In this book, Dr. Okeke outlines a very strong case for streamlining medical practice in Africa, and integrating it with diagnostic services, like it is in places with good and effective medical systems. She also spends time unpacking the myths about why diagnostic services are unnecessary/too expensive in Africa. She debunks very popular myths AND also proposes solutions.

What I love about this book is the simple and sure way it unravels the untruths surrounding why diagnostics are thought not to be a feasible part of medical practice in Africa. So easily, you "see the light" really quickly, LOL! That's why this book, to me, is so important. It provides a completely new paradigm, a new way of conceiving medical practice for a continent that is sorely, sorely in need of new paradigms when in comes to medical practice.

However, the reason this book gets four stars instead of five is that although it is geared towards laymen and professionals alike, the material makes for very, very heavy reading. It is a LOT of food for thought, wrapped up in quite a heavy technical package. Granted, the nature of the subject is very highly technical, but at times, my head felt like exploding, there was so much information.

Speaking of information - Dr. Okeke's bibliography is very, very extensive and takes up a good chunk of the book. If I find myself some time, I will go through her sources and look for some of the papers cited in there, it's so filled with useful information.

This is not a book for the fainthearted, it's not a book to keep to yourself, it's' not a book to read once only, it's not a book to read in one sitting, or even two or three or five. Each section bears very important food for thought. Even if one doesn't agree with everything in this book (and I do), it opens up a new avenue of debate about the direction of medical practice in Africa. And that perhaps, is the most important function/niche this book has filled.

I can't recommend this one enough.

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