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This paper addresses the following set of questions: What constituted the "nursing question" in Bulgaria and the "nursing situation" in interwar Yugoslavia? What comparisons could be made about those two cases? What were the other international organizations involved in nursing education and how did they compete/collaborate with the RF? How did the development of nursing training in Europe, sponsored by the RF, intertwine with various administrative reorganizations within the RF?
The Rockefeller Foundation in Croatia - Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Kingdom of Yugoslavia)January 1, 2004
Different epidemics of infectious diseases, general impoverishment and terrible hygienic conditions, as well as social diseases such as tuberculosis, venereal diseases and alcoholism, stand out as significant health problems for many European societies after World War II, including the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (after 1929 the Kingdom of Yugoslavia). Founded after World War I in the large territory of central and southeast Europe, the Kingdom was composed of different nations that were of similar South Slavic origin, but had a very different cultural, religious, and historical heritage. Apart from the prevalence of numerous infectious and particularly social diseases, the lack of an organized health care system in certain parts of the new state was also a considerable problem. The health care infrastructure, which was organized in the areas that had formed part of the Habsburg Empire (Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina), was not sufficiently efficient to meet new health needs. The new health care administration faced the task of solving the problem of epidemics quickly while simultaneously organizing an effective public health care system. This was not an easy task considering that the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was a fairly large, and, for the most part, poor country. Almost eighty percent of the population lived in rural communities.
During my visit to the Rockefeller Archive Center, I reviewed the materials that were available for my dissertation on "The Basis of Health Education in Croatia," which describes health promotion and education efforts in Croatia between the two world wars. During the period between 1919 and 1940, numerous medical and health establishments were built in the rural areas and countryside of Croatia. Other significant programs were designed to educate the Croatian people about the importance of hygiene and practicing a healthy lifestyle. The Rockefeller Foundation directly influenced these programs and provided strong financial support to them.
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