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Eugene Jamot (1879–1937)
  1. L F Haas

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    Jamot received his medical degree from the University of Montpellier. Later, in 1909, he enrolled at the school of tropical medicine in Marseilles. In 1910 he joined the French colonial hygiene group and travelled to Cameroon where Germany had organised a Sleeping Sickness Treatment Research Group. A study he made in 1929 with many colleagues showed a large proportion of the population was affected. Jamot discovered that the tsetse fly harboured trypanosomes and transmitted the disorder. Following measures taken against insect borne infections during the construction of the Panama Canal, Jamot started a successful campaign to wipe out the tsetse fly in Cameroon and succeeded in the prevention of sleeping sickness. Antiparasitic drugs are now available.

    Later Jamot became director of the Pasteur Institute at Brazzaville. He returned to France after his retirement and died in Sardent, Creuse, France, where he was born. In 1979, to commemorate the centenary of his birth, Cameroon issued a stamp. This shows both a map of Cameroon and the location of Yadunde and Ayos where he carried out his research, including that of the tsetse fly Glossina palpalis. The stamp also has an inscription “Conqueror of Sleeping Sickness”. (Stanley Gibbons no 865, Scott no 659). The disease remains a major health problem in many African countries. Animal trypanosomiasis is also an important economic and social problem. Vast areas of Africa are unused because of the presence of tsetse flies.