Timeline: Public Health through time
|The Prehistoric period
|The Ancient World
River – irrigation ditches
(c450BC) wrote of Egyptians using mosquito nets (common sense prevention
– used fishing nets) and also of the requirement for priests
to shave every third day to avoid being infected by lice.
India – Mohenjo
Daro: sewerage system (c1500BC)
Crete, c1500BC: The Minoan
civilisation created an extensive system of water supply and drainage.
Rome – by 100AD Rome had 9
aqueducts serving the city; a sewage system and public baths and
fountains. These ideas spread around the empire – can be illustrated
using a variety of examples linked to the rise of the empire.
Nimes, France. Aqueduct
1st century AD)
Bath – Bathhouses
||Hereford Cathedral – mass grave for victims of the Black Death
8th century Ad: Baghdad – hospital
Cairo – hospital
1349, London: King Edward III writes to the Lord Mayor of London ordering
him to ensure that the city and suburbs are kept clean to prevent
the spread of disease.
1665, London: The Lord Mayor issues a series of rules about the
isolation of infected persons, the burial of the dead and the cleanliness
17th century: European ports such as Naples introduce quarantine
stations where vistors suspected of carrying an infection are to
remain for 40 days before being allowed to enter the port.
|The Industrial Revolution
||1807, Germany. Smallpox vaccination is made compulsory.
1842, Great Britain: Edwin Chadwick publishes his ‘Report
on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain’
which highlights the poor state of Public Health.
1848, Great Britain: Public
1853, Britain. Smallpox vaccination is made compulsory.
1854, London: Edwin Chadwick is sacked and the General Board of Health
1861, France. Pasteur shows that microbes cause disease.
1865, Great Britian. Cholera
epidemic kills 14000 people in England and Wales.
1867, Great Britain: The vote is given to all male householders in
1875, Great Britain. Parliament passes a Public Health Act that requires
each town council to provide effective sewers, clean water and to
employ a qualified doctor as a Medical officer.
1899, UK. Isolation hospitals are opened for infectious diseases.
|The Modern World
||1902, United Kingdom: Regulations are introduced about the training
1906, United Kingdom: Free school meals are introduced for children
from poorer families.
1907, United Kingdom: Legislation comes into force that means that
every new mother is visted and advised by a health vistor.
1907, United Kingdom: Medicial inspections of children are conducted
1908, United Kingdom: The Old Age Pension is introduced for over 70’s.
1911, United Kingdom: The National
Insurance scheme is introduced. It proves unemployment benefits,
sick pay and the cost of doctors and medicines.
1919, United Kingdom: A policy of slum clearance and council house
building is introduced.
1948, United Kingdom: The National
Health Service is launched, providing free point of care treatment
1948, New York: World Health Organisation is launched to aid developing
countries combat health issues.
1949, China: Following the Chinese Revolution a policy is introduced
of combining traditional Chinese treatments with western, scientific
1955: World Health Organisation begins and ongoing campaign to eradicate
1967: World Health Organisation begins campaign to eradicate Smallpox.
It is successful, smallpox has not been reported anywhere in the world
1981: WHO launch ‘Health for all by 2000’ campaign, supported
by 158 member nations.
1985: UNICEF launch massive campaign to raise awareness of medicine
deficiencies in Sudan. This coincides with the ‘Live Aid’
appeal to help people survive a major African famine.