Medicine Through Time: Public Health

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  • Created by: Nuha
  • Created on: 07-06-12 15:32

Public Health Through Time

Prehistoric- No government established thus no public health in place. Individuals were left to their own devices.

Ancient Egypt- Again, no central government, therefore individuals had to take care of themselves and there were no public health schemes.

Ancient Greece- No public health schemes administered by the government. Although the Hippocratic regimen was encouraged (i.e. diet and exercise), it was up to the individual whether or nor they wanted to take the advice on board. Ascelpius was the God who was thought to heal with this two daughters, people would visit the Abaton but the effects were obviously psychosomatic.

Ancient Rome- One of a kind public health which flourished under the government, wanted to keep their empire happy. Measures include: aqueducts,  public latrines, public fountains, public baths and fresh water running to the rich. These were widely available and central in many towns and cities. Most of the public baths were very cheap to use and so people would regularly use them. It is thought that the aqueducts carried 2 million gallons of water a day. Infection would not have spread as easily as people would have been hygienic (although at the time they would not have known that this was because of bacteria).

Middle Ages- The Roman achievements collapsed along with the central government. Living conditions were very crowded and animals were brought up in houses or left roaming the streets. The 1348 Black Death had two forms; the bubonic plague and the pneumonic plague. In light of the pneumonic plague the miasmic theory was put forward. This led the councils and doctors to enforce the idea that 'bad air' caused the plague. Rakiers were employed to clean the streets and people were hired to clean out cesspits but obviously rotting human waste would lead to problems of it's own.

Renaissance- There were a lot of wars in the 16th-17th centuries and therefore money was spent on defence as opposed to public health. The 1665 Great Plague re-introduced the miasmic theory and the governments attitudes were very dismissive. People…


Priya Farmah


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