The Rockefeller Foundation in Croatia - Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Kingdom of Yugoslavia)

Jan 01, 2004 | by
  • Description

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.