“A Disease Called Fatigue”
Cécile Jadin was born in Burundi, which was then a colony of Belgium, in Africa. Her father, Jean-Baptiste Jadin, previously with the prestigious Pasteur Institute, was then a doctor in charge of a program of immunization, and was researching tropical diseases.
She grew up in the African tropics with a background of medical research. This duality still characterises her; she maintains her interest in research, with a love of Africa.
Political instability in the region, together with a position offered to her father as Professor at the Institute for Tropical Diseases, forced the family to move to Belgium. Life changed for Cécile. She did not enjoy the grey cold Northern Europe and its attitudes. Her mind was still lingering in Africa.
When the time came to choose a profession, the tradition of three generations of service to medicine and her father’s colleagues showed her the way.
She entered the Medical School and seven years later, decided to become a surgeon. This was for her a time of dedication and self-discipline.
At the end of her training, she accepted a contract with a South African hospital. But events decided otherwise and her life did not follow the predicted path.
The book is about her call back to Africa, about the link
- between the old and the wild continent,
- between a Pasteurian school of microbiologists who made striking discoveries during the twentieth century and a new wave of scientists,
- between a procession of germs and waves of diseases evolving through geography and history.
“A Disease Called Fatigue” represents ten years of lonely work digging for information, treating many patients successfully, fighting investigations brought by the medical fraternity, standing to be heard at medical congresses.
Her book is a result of the teamwork by dedicated scientists and scholars throughout the last hundred years and it tells us about patients and their diseases, which have sometimes been called Fatigue. It concludes on a new approach of medicine: a balance between life and death, the author’s philosophy.