Malaria Memoirs


Zul Premji’s passion has been science and its use for the benefit of his fellow citizens. From a background of abject poverty in a village in Tanzania, he rose to become, progressively a laboratory technician, a medical doctor, and finally a malaria expert and professor of pathology in a public university. In his practice he observed the clash between tradition and modernization, between “the iPod and the mullahs.” What he discovered is that more important than drugs and vaccines in combating widespread disease is the human spirit. Zul Premji tells his story in all its details—his family life, the obstacles of poverty and the impediments of politics, bureaucracy, and the human ego.


“This memoir is a rags-to-riches tale full of material on human frailty. It makes an excellent autobiography for those interested in medicine and research. It anchors Zul as a superb storyteller . . . Candid, honest and stimulating.”
–Wafaie Fawzi, Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences, Harvard University

“Unique documentation . . . essential reading for anyone interested in the potential of malaria elimination in Africa.”
–Anders Björkman, Professor of Infectious Diseases, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

“Zul manages to create the distinct impression that he is sitting in the living room talking to the reader . . . Anyone who is genuinely interested in malaria, Tanzanian politics, and health systems in developing countries will find his insights and anecdotes fascinating…”
–Col (Rtd) Sayed I Ali, Kenya Air Force

“Tremendously interesting and entertaining, Prof Zul’s is a truly Tanzanian story to which the average person can relate.”
–Billy Ngasala, Professor, Muhimbili University Hospital, Dar es Salaam



Publication Date: June 2021

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-77415-035-1
Page size: 5.5″ x 8.5″
180 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-77415-036-8

photo of Zul Premji

Zul Premji was born in Iringa, Tanzania, and attended school in two towns before obtaining his medical degree from Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam. He later took an MSc in Medical Parasitology from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a Diploma in Tropical Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians in London, and a doctorate in Infectious Diseases from Karolinska, Sweden. His specialization included clinical trials, antimalarial drug resistance and malaria case management. Over a career of more than forty years, he has held numerous academic positions in Tanzania, and has been an advisor to National Malaria Control. He now lives in Calgary, Alberta.