Guldberg, Carl Johan

1846-1901
Lutheran (Norwegian Missionary Society)
Madagascar

Carl Guldberg was the person who was the most instrumental in establishing the teaching of scientific pharmacy in Madagascar.

Born in Oslo, Norway, in 1846, Carl Johan Guldberg studied medicine before he applied to do mission work with the Lutheran Norwegian Missionary Society (NMS). The NMS sent him to Madagascar in 1876, and he proved to be very competent while he was there.

As soon as he arrived he became associated with the medical work of the Protestant missions in Antananarivo, principally the work of his compatriot Dr. Chr. Borchgrevink. In 1880, along with the latter and a few British missionary colleagues, he organized some advanced classes for the former students of the Kolejy Medikaly Malagasy (Malagasy Medical College). Also, in 1886, when the Medical Missionary Academy was founded, he was one of the professors who contributed to its’ operation and renown.

Through contacts in Norway who had formed an auxiliary committee, he was able to secure medical materials, a sterilization unit, and bandages that were critical to the successful operation of the NMS clinical group in Antananarivo (that became a hospital in 1886). Also in 1886, with the help of Sister Edwarda Christiansen, he organized a genuine pharmacy and created a class in theoretical and practical pharmacology for the students at the Medical Academy. At the same time, he also taught in the Nursing School that had been opened two years earlier.

Guldberg’s contribution to medical teaching was not merely oral in nature. Although the text for the pharmacology class that he had created was never put into print, the handwritten text was copied and re-copied for many years by the students.

Over the course of his ten-year stay Guldberg and his wife took in Betsileo medical interns in their home. He left Madagascar in 1886 and returned to Norway, where he had a rural medical practice in Lesja from 1888 to 1906. He died in Oslo in 1906.

L. Munthe, L. Molet


The above article, reprinted here by permission, is from Hommes et Destins: Dictionnaire biographique d’Outre-Mer [People and Destinies: an Overseas Biographical Dictionary], vol. 3, published in 1977 by the Académie des Sciences d’Outre-Mer (15, rue la Pérouse, 75116 Paris, France). All rights reserved.