Origins of public health

A hand pump was located right on Broad Street, and Snow was immediately suspicious. Water samples did not reveal gross contamination, but Snow persisted and began to collect detailed information on where the victims had gotten their drinking water. He obtained the names and the addresses of the first 83 victims who had died by the end of the first week. He went to their homes and learned from relatives that the vast majority of them had obtained their water from the Broad St.

Origins of public health

Winslow, in as, "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical health and efficiency through organized community efforts for the sanitation of the environment, the control of community infections, the education of the individual in principles of personal hygiene, the organization of medical and nursing service for the early diagnosis and preventive treatment of disease, and the development of the social machinery which will ensure to every individual in the community a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health.

Paleopathology, the study of fossils and other artifacts, reveals that early Homo sapiens, who were hunter-gatherers, suffered from essentially the same diseases that afflict people today.

In remote parts of the world—in the Amazon, IndonesiaAustraliaand Africa—isolated communities exist that anthropologists believe follow lifestyles typical of prehistoric populations. These peoples share the belief that diseases are caused by malevolent supernatural forces.

To diagnose, treat, and, in some cases, prevent the spread of these malevolent forces, all primitive societies have created a class of "shamans"—persons specially trained to intervene on the spiritual and physical level.

Thus, the most primitive societies provide an "organized" approach to the recognition and management of disease. The social structure of the earliest primitive villages was probably not very different from that of the earlier hunter-gatherer tribes, and physical amenities were, no doubt, similarly unchanged.

However, the establishment of cities brought about major developments. Origins of public health have found that all the great cities of antiquity in AsiaEuropeAfrica, and South America had municipal water supplies and sewerage systems. The culmination of ancient sanitary engineering was accomplished in Romewhere aqueducts supplied the city with water in amounts comparable to many modern municipal systems and sewers and drains carried away the wastewater.

Origins of public health

Part of the great central drain of ancient Rome, the Cloaca Maxima, still serves as part of the sewerage of the modern city. It was the exigencies of urban living, not considerations of health and disease, that necessitated sanitary engineering. Supernatural explanations of disease did not evoke or require an environmental origin for disease.

However, in the fifth and fourth centuries b. In his book On Airs, Waters, Places, the relations of disease to physical, social, and behavioral settings are presented for the first time.

This book served as a guide for decisions regarding the location of urban sites in the Greco-Roman world, and may be considered the first rational guide to the establishment of a science-based public health. Large cities disappeared, replaced by small villages surrounding the castles of feudal chiefs.

The only unifying force was Christianityand it was in the monasteries that the learning and culture of the Greco-Roman world was preserved.

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Furthermore, in many of these institutions, piped water supplies, sanitary sewers, privies, bathing facilities, and heating and ventilation were provided. In addition, some monasteries constructed hospices to shelter travelers and sick persons, though the medical care provided in them was primitive at best.

In Eastern Europe and Asia Minorhowever, feudalism did not exist, and medicine advanced and became centered in major secular hospitals established in ByzantiumBaghdadand Cairo. The most important disease of the period was leprosy, manifested by a continent-wide epidemic beginning in the sixth century and lasting through the fifteenth.

Lepers were excluded from communities and segregated. Elaborate rules and regulations were set up to diagnose the disease and isolate cases. Leper houses leprosaria were established, and it is estimated that by the end of the twelfth century there were 19, such houses throughout Europe.

Isolation of cases of leprosy in medieval times represents the earliest application of a public health practice still in use. By about c. Feudal fiefdoms were being consolidated into nation states, cities and towns were growing, education was beginning to be secularized, and the Crusades were bringing increased interaction between the Islamic East and the Christian West.

As these changes occurred, the responsibility for communal functions was transferred from the feudal lords and ecclesiastic authorities to lay councils presided over by a hierarchy of hereditary or appointed officials. Public health activities, such as overseeing the water supply and sewerage, street cleaning, and supervision of the markets, fell under the jurisdiction of the councils.

The establishment, in Salerno, Italy, of the first organized medical school was indicative of the changes occurring in Western Europe.

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This institution, founded in the eleventh or twelfth century, was particularly remarkable for two reasons: It was a lay organization, independent of the church, and it welcomed students of any race or creed. Its faculty included women, who apparently dealt with obstetric issues, and the renowned peripatetic scholar, Constantine the African —who translated many important Arabic works into Latin.

Its most prominent literary product was the Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum, a lengthy poem, prescribing healthy habits from birth to old age.3 About Public Health England This Toolkit was commissioned and supported in its development by Public Health England Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation's health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities.

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Feb 12,  · The Origins Of The Shiite-Sunni Split: Parallels The division between Islam's Shiite minority and the Sunni majority is deepening across the Middle East.

The . Health, civilization and the state: A history of public health from ancient to modern times. New York: Routledge.

Public health - Wikipedia

E-mail Citation» This history of public health covers a longer time span, beginning before public health was formally recognized. The author is an historian with training in public health. The coverage is reasonably complete.

Oldest non African Stone tools found in China. Modelling Neanderthal brains - on a small scale. Modelling brain evolution.

History of Public Health