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1. Epidemics, Wars and Public Healthcare Advocacy in Republican China, 1911–1928

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Chapter Summary

Epidemics have played an ominous part in human history. In Europe both the sixth century Justinian plague and the fourteenth century Black Death killed tens of millions of people, fundamentally affecting the course of European history. The Chinese medical reformers were concerned with the people's vulnerability to epidemic diseases and the absence of an effective science based public health service to counteract these scourges. The concept of state medicine as a strategy for promoting public healthcare had its origins in public health reforms launched in the early 19th century in West European countries. During the War of Resistance to Japan, state medicine became a significant formula for programs of the National Health Administration, the Army's Emergency Medical Service Training Schools, and a number of provincial health organizations.

Keywords: Black Death; Chinese medical reformers; Justinian plague; National Health Administration; public health reforms



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