History of Medicine


An Open Access Journal

N.A. Semashko and his role in the development of the soviet system for the protection of motherhood and infancy

G.L. Mikirtichan

Saint-Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University, The Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation

The article describes the activity of the first People’s Commissar of Health (1918–1930) Nikolai Alexandrovich Semashko (1874–1949) and his role in the creation of the state system for the protection of motherhood and infancy in our country. His contribution into attracting and engaging all persons concerned about the protection of maternal and child health, and the development of preventive care and dispensary observation, which is fundamental for pediatric prevention and treatment facilities, is shown. As a Chairman of the Children’s Commission at the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (1930–1936), N.A. Semashko worked hard on the problem of homeless and abandoned children. His efforts to develop the Soviet school hygiene (the field where he was one of the prime movers) and work relating to the improvement of children’s’ health, as well as achievements and shortcomings of child care are described.

Keywords: N.A. Semashko, protection of motherhood and infancy, combating homelessness, preventive care, school hygiene, baby food


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