Dr. Ellen Writes Book—Life and Death in Kolofata: An American Doctor in Africa

Dr. Ellen Einterz, our parishioner who established and ran a hospital in Kolofata, Cameroon, has written a book on her experiences. This book is titled Life and Death in Kolofata: An American Doctor in Africa and is published by Indiana University Press. “I wrote the book in the hopes that others would read it, enjoy it, and be enriched by it–by the stories, the people, the place–much as I have been so profoundly enriched by the living of it,” Dr. Ellen said.

The book is available for purchase online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other sites.

The book’s back cover provides this description: When Dr. Ellen Einterz first arrives in the town of Kolofata in Cameroon, the situation is dire: patients are exploited by healthcare workers, unsterilized needles are reused, and only the wealthy can afford care. In Life and Death in Kolofata: An American Doctor in Africa, Einterz tells her remarkable story of delivering healthcare for 24 years in one of the poorest countries in the world, revealing both touching stories of those she is able to help and the terrible suffering of people born in extreme poverty. In one case, a 6-year-old burn victim suffers after an oil tanker tips and catches fire; in another story, Dr. Einterz delivers a child in the front yard of her home. In addition to struggling to cure diseases and injuries and combat malnutrition, Einterz faced another kind of danger: the terrorist organization Boko Haram had successively kidnapped foreigners from Cameroon, and they had set their sights on the American in Kolofata. It would only be a matter of time before they would come for her. Tragic, heartwarming, and at times even humorous, Life and Death in Kolofata illustrates life for the people of Cameroon and their doctor, documenting both the incredible human suffering in the world and the difference that can be made by those willing to help.

About the Author: Dr. Ellen Einterz has spent most of her life in rural West and Central Africa. After two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger in the mid-1970s, she directed a Catholic mission hospital in Benue State, Nigeria. She moved to northern Cameroon in 1990 and remained for 24 years, building and leading a district hospital and public health service. She was medical coordinator of an Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia during the epidemic of 2014-2015, and she is presently working in Indianapolis with refugees newly arrived from war-torn countries. She is affiliated with Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indianapolis.


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