The following passages are excerpted from his book:
Chapter 2 explained the committee's ideal for the public health system—how it should be arranged for handling current and future threats to health.
In this chapter the history of the existing public health system is briefly described. This history is intended to provide some perspective on how protection of citizens from health threats came to be a public responsibility and on how the public health system came to be in its current state.
History During the past years, two factors have shaped the modern public health system: In earlier centuries, when little was known about the causes of disease, society tended to regard illness with a degree of resignation, and few public actions were taken.
As understanding of sources of contagion and means of controlling disease became more refined, more effective interventions against health threats were developed.
Public organizations and Diseases 19th century america were formed to employ newly discovered interventions against health threats. As scientific knowledge grew, public authorities expanded to take on new tasks, including sanitation, immunization, regulation, health education, and personal health care.
Chave, ; Fee, The link between science, the development of interventions, and organization of public authorities to employ interventions was increased public understanding of and social commitment to enhancing health. The growth of a public system for protecting health depended both on scientific discovery and social action.
Understanding of disease made public measures to alleviate pain and suffering possible, and social values about the worthiness of this goal made public measures feasible. The history of the public health system is a history of bringing knowledge and values together in the public arena to shape an approach to health problems.
Before the Eighteenth Century Throughout recorded history, epidemics such as the plague, cholera, and smallpox evoked sporadic public efforts to protect citizens in the face of a dread disease.
Although epidemic disease was often considered a sign of poor moral and spiritual condition, to be mediated through prayer and piety, some public effort was made to contain the epidemic spread of specific disease through isolation of the ill and quarantine of travelers.
In the late seventeenth century, several European cities appointed public authorities to adopt and enforce isolation and quarantine measures and to report and record deaths from the plague. Goudsblom, The Eighteenth Century By the eighteenth century, isolation of the ill and quarantine of the exposed became common measures for containing specified contagious diseases.
Several American port cities adopted rules for trade quarantine and isolation of the sick.
In Massachusetts passed laws for isolation of smallpox patients and for ship quarantine as needed. Afterinoculation with material from smallpox scabs was also accepted as an effective means of containing this disease once the threat of an epidemic was declared.
By the end of the eighteenth century, several cities, including Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore, had established permanent councils to enforce quarantine and isolation rules.
Hanlon and Pickett, These eighteenth-century initiatives reflected new ideas about both the cause and meaning of disease. Diseases were seen less as natural effects of the human condition and more as potentially controllable through public action. Also in the eighteenth century, cities began to establish voluntary general hospitals for the physically ill and public institutions for the care of the mentally ill.
Finally, physically and mentally ill dependents were cared for by their neighbors in local communities. This practice was made official in England with the adoption of the Poor Law and continued in the American colonies.
Grob, ; Starr, By the eighteenth century, several communities had reached a size that demanded more formal arrangements for care of their ill than Poor Law practices. The first American voluntary hospitals were established in Philadelphia in and in New York in The first public mental hospital was established in Williamsburg, Virginia in In America, especially, a chronic inflammation of, and hypersecretion from the membranes of nose or air passages.
in England, an acute influenza, resulting from a cold and attended with cough, thirst, lassitude and watery eyes; also, the cold itself.
During the 19th century, cholera spread across the world from its original reservoir in the Ganges delta in India.
Six subsequent pandemics killed millions of people across all continents. The current (seventh) pandemic started in South Asia in , and reached Africa in and the Americas in Toward the end of the 19th century, as people searched for a way to control infectious diseases, the germ theory of disease was introduced.
It became clear that impure water, crowding, poor housing, spoiled food, and other environmental conditions were contributing to high rates of disease in cities.
Achievements in Public Health, Control of Infectious Diseases Deaths from infectious diseases have declined markedly in the United States during the 20th century (Figure 1). This decline contributed to a sharp drop in infant and child mortality (1,2) .
This helps explain why during the second and third decades of the nineteenth century nearly one infant in three in England failed to reach the age of five.
Generally throughout the s and the s trade was off and food prices were high. Progress in late 19th century Latin America “To develop to a higher, better, or more advanced stage” is how progress is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. During the late 19th century, Latin America, in particular, was striving to do just what this definition states.