Complete notes on Public Health

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  • Created on: 12-06-16 15:09
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Public Health
Prehistoric Pre 3000 BC
No government established so no public health in place. Individuals
left to their own devices.
Nomadic huntergatherers
Lived in small extended families, moved from place to place looking
for food
Ancient Egypt 3000 ­ 1000 BC
No central government
Individual had to take care of themselves
No public health schemes
They believed in keeping clean. Their concern with cleanliness was
Priests washed more often than others
Egyptian development of mosquito nets was for comfort than
knowledge of illnesses carried by mosquitos. It protected them from
Their attitude to cleanliness helped them stay healthy
Shaven heads were normal for men and women. Clothes changed
Had sophisticated water drainage system for growing crops
Did not develop a drainage system for toilets. Only well off people had
bathrooms and baths were just shallow troughs with a drainage pipe
leading to a large removal jar. Toilets were more common but were
just stone seats over large removal jars. Shows importance of water.
Drank from cups of bronze which they cleaned daily everyone. Priests
shaved their whole bodies every third day to guard against lice and
other things.
Twice a day and every night they washed in cold water.

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Ancient Greece 800 ­ 400 BC
No public health schemes administered by government
Hippocratic regimen (what they ate and drank, how much they slept,
how much exercise they took, what job they did) was encouraged, up
to individual to take advice or not. Men and boys spent a lot of time in
Always believed healthy eating and drinking would keep them healthy
Some of Hippocratic books set out exactly what to eat, drink, when to
or avoid for a perfect health.…read more

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Not only public health fell into disrepair but the people lacked the
education to understand the value of hygiene, clean water and etc.
A religion dominated society ­ regression
Lack of knowledge and questioning
Lack of education
Cramped and dark conditions meant that infection could spread easily.
People didn't know the root cause of disease.
Water collected from wells and River Thames. Since human waste was
dumped in there, this would have been dangerous.…read more

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Black Death was god's
punishment. The church only accepted Galen's ideas.
In Arabic Empire, work of Galen and Hippocrates was translated.
Avicenna wrote `A Book of Healing' and `A canon of Medicine'
IbnanNafis tried to tackle smallpox and measles and even wrote
descriptions of them.
Herbal remedies were used
Low life expectancy. Wealthy was able to study in uni
Beliefs: God ­ people got ill if sinned, miasma, astrology,
galen/Hippocrates, 4 humous/opposites, arab healers ­ ibn sinna.…read more

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Town and cities lacked Romans' central organisation and willingness of
wealthy to provide water and sewerage.
Monasteries made effort to provide clean running water and effective
The wealthy had to rely on inadequate cesspits and adjacent walls or
water courses that wre little more than open sewers. Those without a
cesspit frequqntly disposed of waste into streets.
People found it healthier to drink wine and beer or buy water brought
in on pack animals from outside the towns.…read more

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Carts roamed the city collecting
corpses for mass burial in plague pits. King was thought to heal by
laying his hand on people's shoulder. Doctors were at more risk as
disease was contagious and the sick went to them for help. The Great
Fire of London wterilised large parts of it killing the plague bacteria.
Paracelsus, a famous German alchemist and surgeon of the period,
discovered that laudanum (a derivative of opium) was a painkiller that
could be used to help his patients.…read more

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Then followed work of Robert Koch who in 18751878 developed
vaccine for anthrax. He was able to link Pasteur's theory to show how
infection spread.
Women was thought to be less able then men. The first woman to
qualify as a doc pretended to be a man named Margaret Ann Bulkley
who trained as James Barry. He went to army and served there, the
found out her gender after her death.…read more

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Poor people were often housed in tenements which were damp,
insanitary and had no running water. Large families lived together in
one room and shared a toilet. Many couldn't afford to see a doc. Had
long working hours and low wages.
Philanthropists were rich people who helped the poor. They were
companies like Cadbury who provided their workers with good living
After WWI Lloyd George (1919) promised to set up a ministry of health
and set up grants to build council houses.…read more

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However, Flemming did not have the necessary
chemical skills to purify the 'mould juice'. He tested it on animals and it
did no harm to the body tissues, so he tested it on a colleagues eye
infection and it again did not harm to the body tissues. It was a big
improvement from the 'magic bullets'. In 1929 and 1931, he wrote up
his results and called the 'mould juice' penicillin.…read more

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In 1798 Thomas Robert Malthus suggested that human species might
increase in no. beyond its ability to feed itself. Reduction of deaths in
childbirth meant increase in population and a greater need for family
planning. Clinics provided barrier and chemical forms of contraception
and family planning advice. The world health organisation and the UN
population fund have been working to bring effective family planning
to the developing world.…read more


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