Sir Donald was born in Belfast in 1926;his father was a medical doctor,
who specialised in public health,and his mother was the daughter of a
Tyneside ship builder.During World War I,Sir Donald ’s father had been
involved in dealing with the epidemic of syphilis which was on such a
scale that at one point it was thought possible it would stop the fighting
due to lack of troops.His precepts were that strict confidentiality and
speedy treatment without embarrassment were the keystones to success
in dealing with sexually transmitted disease.Sixty years later these
precepts became the foundation of the UK ’s successful challenge to
HIV/Aids which,as Chief Medical Officer,Sir Donald directed.
Charting his early life,and moving through his career posts in the UK
and US and medical research at Oxford,this memoir covers his
appointment as CMO of England.With the following advice from a
friend to prepare him:
‘You ’ll enjoy this job Donald,there ’s never a dull moment …but you ’re
going to inevitably lose control of your life,I ’m afraid!’
The book covers his experiences in Whitehall advising Government on
many important issues including those he termed the ‘The Seven
Plagues of Egypt:’HIV/AIDS,Salmonella,Legionellosis,Listeriosis,
Botulism,Small Pox and BSE.
This book also describes the author ’s World Health Organisation work
in Bosnia during the Humanitarian Crisis in the former Yugoslavia and
his later work in Chechnya.