Macdonald, Andrew Buchanan

Church of Scotland , United Free Church of Scotland

Andrew Buchanan Macdonald was a Scottish medical missionary in Nigeria. Born in Stepps, Glasgow, Macdonald studied medicine at the University of Glasgow, graduating in 1920. He served in Nigeria with the United Free Church and subsequently the Church of Scotland from 1921 to 1954. At first he was the doctor at Itu hospital on the Cross River, but he began treating leprosy in 1926 and within two years had so many patients that he founded Itu Leper Colony, which provided a holistic approach to treating the disease. Because most patients were well enough to work, Macdonald and his colleagues were able to develop a largely self-sustaining agricultural settlement with “an atmosphere of activity and joy and hope.” He was awarded the Member of the British Empire in 1934 and Commander of the British Empire in 1957. He retired in 1952 but was called back, retiring again in 1954.

Geoffrey Johnston


A. B. Macdonald, Can Ghosts Arise? The Answer of Itu (1946, 1957) and In His Name (1964). Itu Leper Colony, They Were Cleansed: The Thirtieth Anniversary Report of the Itu Leper Colony (1958); Geoffrey Johnston, Of God and Maxim Guns: Presbyterianism in Nigeria, 1846-1966 (1988).

This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.