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1231 The question of infant mortality

VIEWS: 49 PAGES: 17

  • pg 1
									The question of infant
mortality: from the past to the
future
 Rosa Ballester, PhD.



          Click for readings
The new social construction
of childhood
“To those parents who
to bring up the new child in
the new century”

Ellen Key, The Century of
Children,Stockholm, 1900
      The background:
      Demographic and
      HealthTransition
• The decrease of infant
  mortality is one of the most
  perceptible indicators for
  measuring the progress made
  in specific geographical areas
Children´s diseases in the
       Old Regime
• The medical works
  corresponding to the
  Aristotelian-Galenic
  Tradition offer a wide
  range of the most frequent
  pathologies
  Poverty and Foundling
        Hospitals
• The Old Regime was unable to
  provide for its poor
• The dream of a paternalistic
  institution as a hospital for
  abandoned children had failed
 The birth of Paediatrics
• Paediatrics as a specialty
  arosed in the new hospital
  medicine
• Paris medical school during
  the first half of the XIXth
  Century was in head of this
  process
     The new social
construction of childhood
           (1)
• In the 1920´s children had
  become both a wellfare
  object of value and a social
  problem
• The “rediscovery” of the child
The new social construction
     of childhood (2)

• The “rediscovery” of the
  child at the turn of the
  XXth century
• From “working-children” to
  “ school children”
  Infant mortality: social
         attitudes
• Tradi-tional   • New vision:
  vision:


                   Infant
• fatalism         mortalitypre
                   ven-
                   table
   Infant mortality: social
         responses
*Leagues against
infant mortality

*Citizens movements of child
protection
       Chilhood as value

»Economic value of infant life

»Ethical value

»The value of child is sustained in
its importance for the
state,family and science
 Child mortality: an open
        struggle
»Identification of enemies

»Weapons use to fight in
 front of the causes of
 death
The medical identity of
  the child (1)
»The child becomes a valuable
object of scientific knowledge
between XIXth and XXth
centuries

»Pediatricians conferred on the
child its own identity
The medical identity of the
child (2)
»The study of human
growth/Anthropometry
»Studies on metabolism in the
first stages of life
»Specific diagnostic and
therapeutic procedures
    CONCLUSIONS
• The XXth century started
  the health campaigns for
  infant well-being and
  welfare
• Decreasing infant mortality
  has became a democratic
  value and a standard for
  social progress
      CONCLUSIONS
• The history of infant health and
  welfare teach us how the
  improvement was due both the
  scientific foundations of
  paediatrics and the fight against
  poverty and inequality.
“There is therefore no doubt that there has
been a great improvement in child health,
particularly since the beginning of the century.
It is not possible to asses accurately the
contribution of medical services to this
improvement, but it can safely be said that
they have been less important than the
increase in standard of living and
environmental control”

Th Mac Keown, CR Lowe. An introduction to
Social Medicine. Oxford: BlacKwell, 1966

								
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