THE HEALTH ORGANIZATION OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS: Visit of Foreign Public Health Officers
BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)
M.P.) was presenit to offer an official welcome; and Dr. Ludwig Rajchman, director of the Healtli Section of the General Secretariat of the League of Nations, gaveanl address in which he recapitulated some of the information given in the article which appeared in ,the JOURNAL of April 12th (p. 672). The Minister of Health'sTVelcome. The MINISTER OF HEALTH said that the Gover-nment recog-'nized and appreciated the valuable work which was'being done by the League of Nations in the direction of
... the direction of initer-!national health. The Ministry of Healthl was established ,only five years ago, but it represented the co-ordiniation of much valuable work which had been growinig up in this 'country over a very long period. He described the many sides of the work of the Ministry; it was concerned with the encouragement of medical researchl, the control of niationial health insurance, the prevention of epidemics, the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis and venereal diseases, and the arrangements for maternity and child welfare. Thenation had reason to. be proud of the way in which the sociaf service comprehended in the term " maternity and child welfare " had grown in recent years. It was essential that in all the Ministry's work it should be acquainted with what was being done by other countries, and the International Health Organization. of the League niow provided the means whereby such knowledge was forthcoming. It was true that there was some internationial co-operation in health matters in pre-League days. In 1907, by an agreement arrived at in Rome, it was decided to found aln International Health Office in Paris,wwhich. was n0ow the Advisory Council of the HealthO'rganization of the League. The Health Organization itself might be said to have been born in the Ministry; it took shape as a result of conferences held under the Ministry's auspices in 1919-20. The Qrganization now had its Exe,cutive Committee anid its headqjuarters staff in Geneva, and it was assisted finan-cially by that splendid institution, the Rockefeller Foundation. Medicine was essentially international, and among the officers of the public health services iln various counitries, not only co-operation, but the utmost sympathy and mutual confidence must exist. Among the many questions relating to health which had an international bearinig he mentioned the fjYeatment of venereal diseases amonigst seamen, the collection and co-ordination of statistics, and the standardization of dangerous drugs. It was also very valuable to have an international system for the reporting of epidemics, and to have machinery available for some common action against typhus, cholera, malaria, and similar scourges. It was of the greatest value that this Health Organization should have representatives from the UInited -States, Germany, and the Soviet Union-States which were outside the League of Nations-and he trusted that the educational effect of this splendid health movement would be such as to encourage still further co-operation and fraterniity, beyond the realm of medicine, among all the nations of the earth.