CANDIDO M. AFRICA
Candido Macasaet Africa was a doctor of medicine, scholar and researcher. His
contributions tp medical science made him internationally known and won
"for the first time recognition of the Filipino scientist abroad, thus
reflecting glory and honor upon his calling and country."
was born in Lipa, Batangas on October 2, 1895. After graduating from the
College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines, he taught at the
Department of Parasitology, School of Hygiene and Public Health of the same
college. He became associate professor and head of the department in 1932.
was while teaching at the state university that he became involved in scientific
research. In all, he wrote 19 scientific articles, some of which he co-authored
with his colleagues Walfrido de Leon, E. Y. Garcia, P. G. Refuerzo, F. J. Dy, J. Soriano, J.O. Nolasco, S.F.
Sta. Cruz and A. V. Vasquez Colet. Among his important works were "The
Progress of Medical Science In The Philippines," "An Anthropod
Associated with Chronic Dermatitis Involving The Face," "Three Cases
Of Insect Bites Involving Triatoma Rubrofasciata, and "The Occurence Of
Bartiella In Man, Monkey And Dog In The Philippines." Much of his
researches dealt with parasites that caused heart failure. He also worked on
their effects on the other parts of the human body. Finally, he undertook
research on the causes and prevention of malaria.
the course of his researches, he discovered four human flukes that attach
themselves to the heart, resulting in disease and, eventually, death. This
discovery was hailed as a significant contribution to medical science as it
greatly benefited heart patients.
improve his scientific skills, Dr. Africa studied at the London School of
Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and graduated with the degree of Doctor of
Tropical Medicine in 1929. That same year he became a Fellow in the Tropen
Institute of Hamburg, Germany. A year later, he received a grant from the
Rockefeller Foundation. It allowed him to attend the Harvard Medical School at
Cambridge, Massachusetts and John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in
recognition of his extensive contributions to scientific research, his works
were compiled in special books and were exhibited in 1937, during the silver
jubilee of Dr. Sadao Yosida of the institute for Research in Microbic Diseases
of the Osaka Imperial University of Japan. In the same year, his works were
also exhibited at the silver jubilee of Professor Sadamu Yokogawa of the
Taihoku Imperial Uni-
in Formosa, and in the 30th year of the professorship of Dr. K. J. Skrajabin of
the All-Union Institute of Helminthology in Moscow, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
In 1938, in the silver jubilee of the professorship of Dr. Lauro Travassos of
the Institute of Oswaldo Cruz in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, his works were also
Africa was known all over the world for his researches. This allowed him to
visit leading laboratories undertaking experiments in parasitology in London,
Liverpool, Edinburgh, Paris, Utrecht, Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, and in
other cities in Europe. He represented the Philippine Commonwealth at the Third
International Congress of Microbiologists held in New York City, U.S.A., on
September 1939. At this international gathering of well-known scientists, he
read a monograph entitled. "Visceral Complications In Intestinal
Heterophydiasis of Man."
other valuable works include "Certain Developmental Stages of Ascaris
Lumbricoides Ova In Live Tissue," "Preliminary Report in Cystercerous
Cellulose In Man," "Notes on Malaria," and "Notes In The
Prevention of Malaria."
Africa's activities, however, were not only confined to laboratory work. He was
also an active member of scientific and technical organizations, like the
American Society of Parasitologists, the Philippine Scientific Society and the National Research Council of which he
was a charter member. He was also a member of the Association of Tropical
Medicine, the Philippine Medical Association, The Phi Kappa
the Society For The Advancement of Research, and the Manila Medical Society.
an authority on heart disease, he was written up in the 1938 editions of
American Men of Science and in Who's Who Among physicians and Surgeons.
an outstanding alumnus of the University of the Philippinzs, he was acclaimed
one of the best scientists the state university had ever produced. In accordance
with the recommendation of the Board of Citizens and the Board of Directors of
the U.P. Alumni Association, he was awarded the Gold Medal of Merit and was
conferred a Diploma of Honor for distinguished achievements in the field of
continued to serve in the government until the war broke out in 1941. He was a
known figure among the Japanese military officers during the occupation of
Manila but unfortunately he was one of those civilians who died in the battle
of the liberation of Manila on February 12, 1945.
colleagues did not forget him. In the General Session of the Philippine Medical
Association held in Manila on May 8, 1946, Doctor Africa was honored with a
citation naming him a great doctor and scientist.
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