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Coming to Terms with World Health

The League of Nations Health Organisation 1921-1946

Iris Borowy

The League of Nations Health Organisation was the first international health organisation with a broad mandate and global responsibilities. It acted as a technical agency of the League of Nations, an institution designed to safeguard a new world order during the tense interwar period. The work of the Health Organisation had distinct political implications, although ostensibly it was concerned «merely» with health. Until 1946, it addressed a broad spectrum of issues, including public health data, various diseases, biological standardization and the reform of national health systems. The economic depression spurred its focus on social medicine, where it sought to identify minimum standards for living conditions, notably nutrition and housing, defined as essential for healthy lives. Attracting a group of innovative thinkers, the organization laid the groundwork for all following international health work, effective until today.

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497 Addison, Lord, 46, 49, 61 Advisory Board of the Epidemic Commission, 51, 53, 54 Advisory Board of the Far Eastern Bureau, 146, Advisory Board of the LRCS, 73 Agriculture, 22, 201, 236, 270, 328, 331, 334, 344, 352, 353, 354, 359, 396 “marriage of health and agriculture,” 387, nutrition and agriculture, 433 Albania, 86,144,182, 278 malaria in, 113, 114, 241, 242 land reform in, 327 Alcohol, 117,164, 287, 391, 456, 462 alcoholism, 25, 164, 179, 183,197, 208, 270, 334, 338, 364, 432, 456 Algeria (French), 6 8 , 125, 238, 244, 253, 377 Algiers, Bureau of, 198 Alimentary disturbances, 187 Allende, Salvador, 390 Alquier, Jules, 381 American Red Cross, 29, 425 Anaemia, 389 Anigstein, Ludwik, 250, Ankylostomiasis, see hookworm disease Anophelism, 318 Appeal to public opinion, 374, 375, 459 Arâoz Alfaro, Gregorio, 74, 213-216, 222 Argentina, 157, 161, 163, 206, 213- 218, 224,357 Astor, Lord Waldorf, 46,49, 390 Athens, 152, 301-303 Athens Centre, 303 Australia, 15, 57, 64,142-146,150-152, 167,178, 212, 266, 267, 278, 387, 429, 434 Austria, 49, 81, 82, 87, 101,105,119, 161,163,168,172,174,177,185, 278, 297, 334, 337, 362, 384, 412 Avenol, Joseph, 288, 289, 306, 245, 421; and Japan, 322; and Rajchman, 358, 398, 421; and WWII, 423 Aykroyd, Wallace, 67, 382, 384-388, 391,393, 433 Bacteriological warfare, 272, 423 Bacteriology, 19-22, 32, 44,112,172, 210, 221, 303, 309, 316, 319, 320, 326 Bagshawe, Arthur, 110, 257 Baker, Josephine, 69, 72,...

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