Health Care In Ancient Rome

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Health Care in Ancient Rome
Public Health ­ This means action taken by governments to
improve health of their people.
Even though the Romans were not so interested in theories about
the causes of illness, their practical skills produced the best public
health schemes yet seen anywhere in the world. These did much
to protect people against disease.
In the populated city of Rome sewers were necessary if the city
was fit enough to live in. But the Romans did not limit their
schemes to Rome. All major towns throughout the Roman Empire
had access to fresh water along aqueducts and brick conduits.
Sewers were put in place to transport sewage away from private
houses and public toilets. Even small towns had access to public
baths, open to anyone for a `quadrans', the smallest Roman coin.
The baths were put in place so that people would have good
hygiene and they rid people of fleas which spread disease. Up to
twenty people could be seated at once in the public toilets that
had been built in towns. Other public health measures included
rules about burying the dead, and preventing fires.
Engineers thought carefully when siting towns, forts and villas.
They placed them at the feet of wooded hills where they could be
exposed to `healthgiving' winds and not near swamps because
certain tiny creatures which cannot be seen by the eyes breed in
these swamps. These creatures then float through the air and
enter the body through the mouth and nose and cause serious
Water commissioners were also appointed in Rome to ensure
good supplies of clean water.
All these improvements did help especially in the Roman Army.
To help the legionaries stay fit and healthy, each fort had a bath
house with drains and fresh water and also a hospital carefully
sited in the quietest part of the camp.


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