Andrija Štampar

Andrija Stampar, the first president of the World Health Organization (WHO) was born in Brodski Drenovci near Pleternica, on September 1, 1888. After his education in Vinkovci, he went to Vienna where he completed his medical studies. From 1919 he was Chief of Hygiene Service of the Ministry of National Health (Department of Racial, Public and Social Hygiene) in Belgrade; it laid the foundations for the public health service in Yugoslavia and established a number of social-medical institutions. After his forced retirement in 1931 he was an expert at the Health Organization of the League of Nations in China. He drafted the constitution of the World Health Organization and chaired the First World Health Assembly in Geneva in 1948. He was the first Vice President of the UN Economic and Social Council. He advocated the widespread health education of people, believing that many diseases can be successfully suppressed. His definition of health – that health is a state of complete physical, psychological and social well-being, not just the absence of illness, is still respected today. From 1947 until his death he was president of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

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