DW AngolaDr. David Strangway - Medical Research in the Angola Highlands, 1900-1967

Dr. David Strangway - Medical Research in the Angola Highlands, 1900-1967


Dr. David Strangway was the keynote speaker at Angola’s 4th National Conference on Science and Technology. His presentation, made on Thursday, September 10 2015, was titled "Medicine and Medical Research in the Angola Highlands, 1900-1967".

Dr. Strangway grew up in Angola in the 1940s and 1950s. Dr. Strangway is a renown Canadian academic and scientist and member of Development Workshop’s international advisory board. His father and mother came to Angola in 1927 and spent 40 years working in the fields of medicine, public health, nutrition and agricultural.

His presentation was based on research that he is carrying out using public access archives in Angola, Portugal, Canada and the USA together with his own family records dating back to when his family worked in Angola. Dr. Strangway demonstrated evidence of the pioneering research that Congregational and later United Church medical practitioners did, dating back to the late 19th century. Early investigation into chronic tropical diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness, leporacy and tuberculosis were done by his parents.

Dr. Strangway demonstrated statistics on the dramatic reduction in mortality that was achieved in the 1950s when his parent’s hospital at Chissamba in Bie Province began to have access to new modern medicines. Dr. Strangway’s mother worked on nutritional research and local herbal medical plants. His father not only built the 140 bed hospital and 83 village clinics, but conducted a remarkable 40,000 surgical operations over his 40 years in Angola.

The presentation was followed by comments from the conference chairperson and the floor noting that despite progress in medical research and vaccination campaigns, diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis are still chronic in Angola.