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 Soviet Union Information Bureau

PUBLIC HEALTH


The death rate for the U.S.S.R. in 1926 was 20.9 per thousand, as compared with 28.3 in 1913, a decrease of 26.2 per cent. In the 25 years before the war the national death rate decreased only 4 per 1,000.

The death rate for infants was 27 per cent in 1913. In 1927 it had fallen to 18 per cent. In 1926 the total number of infant deaths in the U.S.S.R. was 600,000 less than in 1913.

The general death rate in Moscow in 1913 was 23.1 per thousand. In 1926 it was 13.4. The infant mortality rate was 26 per cent in 1913 and in 1926 it was 13.5 per cent.

The birth rate in 1926 for the entire country was 44.0 per thousand. In 1913 it was 45.5 per thousand. The annual increase in population per thousand in 1926 was 23.1. For 1911-13 inclusive it averaged 16.1.

According to measurements of 40,000 school children in Moscow, the average height of children of the same age in 1926 was greater by from 4 to 9.5 centimeters than before the war.

In the Soviet Union public health is the special charge of the Commissariat for Health in each of the six Constituent Republics. The Commissariats are organized on the principle that the health of the people is the business of the State. In application there has been organized a close observation of health conditions and of individuals. Special protection has been organized for women in the period of childbirth, for infants, for workers in dangerous occupations. Minors under '4 may not be employed in industry.

Sanatoriums, hospitals, dispensaries and health resorts have been steadily multiplied. In R.S.F.S.R. alone in 1927 the health resorts had accommodations for 24,460 persons, and the number of sanatoriums had increased from 300 to 1,607 in four years.

The budgetary appropriations for the protection of maternity and of infants had increased to $22,000,000 in 1927. This was exclusive of social insurance for women at the time of childbirth. Payments in maternity cases under the social insurance scheme in 1927 reached $50,000,000. The number of establishments for maternity cases was 3,250, not including summer créches. The number of summer day nurseries was over 6,000 in 1928, having increased each year for ten years.

The aid of the masses of the population has been successfully enlisted in carrying out general measures of health protection.

Physical culture, encouraged by health and educational authorities, has made great strides. The trade unions have greatly assisted in this development. At the beginning of 1927 the membership in physical culture organizations was over 4,000,000.

Stadiums and gymnastic halls have been built during the past three years in most of the principal Russian cities. The workers' clubs operate well-equipped gymnasiums. The central home of physical culture, opened in Leningrad in the fall of 1927, has a great hail for gymnastics, and a huge swimming pool for the equipment of which the trade unions of Leningrad expended $100,000.