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A Partnership to Improve Health

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. 

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

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

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.”

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.

Share your story, too

Fill out this form or contact us at [email protected] to arrange a brief interview about how you used Hesperian books in the field. Feel free to email us your photos or videos too.

Other ways to get involved

  • Donate to our Gratis Book Program to help us send books to those who need them.
  • Double Your Gift by asking your HR department if your company offers an employee matching program.
  • Purchase books for your host community.
  • Share our digital materials with community leaders and health educators.
  • Connect host communities to the Gratis Book Program so they can receive free health materials
  • Follow us on Facebook and share our posts.

Thank you for being an integral part of Hesperian’s life and growth as an organization. We look forward to many more years of partnership with the Peace Corps!