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‘Vet In Africa’ - Memoirs Of
Mombasa Vet Roland Minor

Coastweek -- Older residents of Mombasa will remember Roland Minor as our very competent Veterinary Surgeon in the 1970s and that our pets’ ailments were treated and their injections given at his surgery located where Kenya Ports Authority’s Bandari College and Hostel now stand, writes Andrew Burnard.

Those of us who knew him a little better remember his enthusiastic support of and participation in the activities of the Little Theatre Club, the Mombasa Yacht Club and, in those days, of the Mombasa Club.

Veterinarian Roland Minor | Coastweek

We also remember his skill as a raconteur when he recalled in personal conversations his experiences in his career as a Vet, not only in East Africa but in various other Countries around the World.

Roland has now been persuaded by Commander Barry Mitchell, a long time friend, to tell a wider audience of these experiences and he has included them in his autobiography which has recently been published with the title of “A Lot of Loose Ends : a Vet in Africa”.

The book takes us from his birth in Argentina early in1939, as one of twin brothers, through his education there and in the U.K. and then as a practising Veterinary Surgeon in several African and other Countries.

In the course of his travels he was closely involved with an epidemic of rabies in Kenya as a result of which he calculates that he saw and reported on more cases of rabies than had been documented anywhere in the World in previous years.  His accounts of how some people reacted when their pet dogs contracted the disease are both funny and alarming at the same time.

Coastweek -- Veterinarian Roland Minor

As a result of dealing with foot and mouth disease in cattle in Africa he volunteered his services to the UK Authorities when an outbreak of this disease occurred in UK in 2001 and his account of how, after travelling there at his own expense, his services were then utilised in fighting the outbreak, which was eventually estimated to have cost Britain USD 16 billion, makes interesting reading.   

In the course of his career he has worked with, or for, several International Organisations and in the book he records and makes clear the shortcomings of several of these organisations.

In addition he makes revealing and well based comments about the way in which animal health issues were dealt with in those Countries in which he has worked.

The reader is left hoping that the book will be read by the employees of all these organisations and authorities and that they may take on board the conclusions to be drawn from his comments. 

Roland has, over the years, contributed technical papers to learned veterinary bodies on his research and practical experience with animal diseases and it has just been announced that, in recognition of his lifetime commitment in this field, he has been awarded the prestigious Trevor Blackburn Award for 2013 by the British Veterinary Association for his outstanding contribution to animal health and welfare in Africa.

Please don’t think that this account of researching and treating animal diseases in Africa will make for heavy reading because this is very far from the case.

Roland’s writing is fluent and the softback book itself very well printed and it is altogether a pleasure to read.

It may be recommended to all people with lively minds and particularly to those people with an interest in Africa.

“A Lot of Loose Ends : a Vet in Africa” (ISBN 978 909304 05 5) is published by Memoirs Publishing, www.memoirspublishing.com and is available through Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Waterstones, W.H. Smiths, Google Books and, hopefully, Kenya based bookshops in the near future.


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