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A Peace Corps Volunteer gives back

May 22, 2017


Hesperian books have been used by Peace Corps Volunteers to improve health in their host communities for decades. Gregory MacCrone, an RPCV who served in Liberia and Thailand, shares his story:

Gregory arrived in Liberia in 1989, when the country was on the brink of a civil war that would force his evacuation nine brutal months later. But in the short time he served in Liberia, he made an impact on the life of a little girl named Jenny. He was sent to the remote northern village of Korluma, which consisted of a church and nine mud and twig houses with tin roofs and concrete floors, each housing multiple families. 


One day, Gregory noticed 4-year-old Jenny had rashes on her arms and legs. Something needed to be done to help her. “It was thirty miles to the closest doctor,” says Gregory. “My only resource was a copy of Where There Is No Doctor.” Because Where There Is No Doctor is highly-illustrated and simply written, it was easy for Gregory to find the diagnosis and the treatment. “Jenny clearly had scabies,” explains Gregory. “I suggested to her mother that she wash Jenny’s sheets and hang them from the trees, not dry them on the ground. I was gratified when I saw the sheets in the trees.”

Jenny, scabies-free, sitting with other children from the village.

Then Gregory made the 30 mile trip to a Peace Corps clinic to buy some benzyl benzoate. After two treatments, Jenny’s scabies were cured. “Jenny’s father was so appreciative of what I had done that he offered to pay me with a combination of homemade rum and bananas! I was more than satisfied with the payment, but I was happier that I was able to treat Jenny thanks to Where There Is No Doctor.