DOI: 10.17720/2409-5583.v5.2.2018.02b

Valeriy Yu. Albitskiy1,
Galina L. Mikirtichan2,
Stella A. Sher1
1National Medical Research Center of Children’s Health
2 Lomonosovsky prospect, build. 1, Moscow 119991, Russia
2Saint-Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University
2 Litovskaya St., Saint-Petersburg 194100, Russia

This article addresses the establishment of a welfare system for mothers and children in the Russian Empire. The research demonstrates that in the 18th century, the foundations were laid for medical and social support for children in life-threatening situations (such as orphans and infants born out of wedlock). As early as the era of Peter the Great in the 18th century, attention was drawn to the need measures to protect foundlings, and during the reign of Catherine the Great, state and charitable institutions were founded to care of children in this category. It is demonstrated that in the 19th century, the key causes of the emergence of understanding and demands for systematic measures by the state and society in providing maternal and child health сare were as follows: the classification of pediatrics as an independent medical field; the creation of departments for children’s diseases and hygiene at Russian universities; research by zemstvo doctors, the first professors of hygiene and pediatricians on health conditions and the causes of the high mortality rate among children; and the formation of public and professional organizations focused on protecting children’s health. The opinion is put forward that at the beginning of the 20th century, Russia stood on the threshold of the construction of a system for maternal and child health сare, which included decisive participation by the state. A hypothesis is advanced that theoretical approaches and organizational technologies in the field of medical care for children, and the implementation of foreign experience in the Russian Empire, became important components of the Soviet state system for maternal and child health сare.

Keywords: history of health care, Russian Empire, mother and child health сare, Soviet health system

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