Guido Kluxen:
Dr. Jean Hissette’s Research Expeditions
to Elucidate River Blindness.

In 1930, Hissette had discovered thousands of people with river blindness on the Sankuru in the Belgian Congo. Up to that time, eye conditions in onchocerciasis were known in Central America, but not in Africa. Hissette had already seen patients with corneal degeneration after iridocyclitis and keratitis at his mission station 400 km away from the Sankuru River, but it was only at the Sankuru that he recognized with certainty that this was caused by onchocerciasis.

Dr. Jean Hissette and some of his river blind people

Four years later the Harvard African Expedition to the Belgian Congo under Richard Pearson Strong with five American colleagues was organized at Belgium expense. These members had to check Dr. Jean Hissette’s reports because there were doubts about his findings. The newly published book describes this expedition as well as several others that Jean Hissette undertook during his 22 years in Africa. It is mostly narrated in the first person and Hissette’s original words, found in his own recordings, were used to produce this book..

Dr. Jean Hissette  1929

A  DVD – video film of the same name, running time 10 minutes, has been completely remade in 2010 using Hissette’s own celluloid material from ~ 1935 as well as material from the film “Harvard African Expedition of 1934”, Archives of the Harvard University Medical School, followed by a short presentation of a focal TV program from Belgium in 2005 (TV Lux). The DVD is part of the book.

Kluxen G (2011) Dr. Jean Hissette’s Research Expeditions to Elucidate River Blindness.
Kaden, Heidelberg

144 pages, 61 images, english, hardcover, including DVD
39,80 Euro, ISBN 978-3-942825-05-4
Order your copy in any bookstore or directly through Kaden Verlag
tel.: +49/6221/1377600, Fax +49/6221/29910 or