Kissing years of tonsillitis goodbye

Mr Kuma's problems with recurrent tonsillitis started in his thirties when he moved from his native Africa to Europe for a job. "I love working in the UK," he said, "but your English winter, it's killing my throat".

His health had always been excellent, and he considered himself quite hardy. In fact, he loved trekking in the outdoors, but the British cold did not agree with him at all.

As soon as the season turned from autumn towards winter, he would come down with full blown tonsillitis, often with two or three more bouts of it over the season before spring brought the warmer weather. It was happening every year like clockwork and after five years, and more antibiotics and days off sick from work than he cared to remember, he'd had enough.

He described his symptoms to me as he sat huddled up and shivering on the sofa, hugging a hot tea, scarf round his neck. First would come a rawness in his throat and raised glands beneath his jaw which "felt like small knots". Then he would get a short fever followed by a lasting chill right down to his bones, a throbbing headache in his temples that he couldn't shift, and shooting pains in his ears.