Article ID: CBB000930705

Doctors on Record: Uruguay's Infant Mortality Stagnation and Its Remedies, 1895--1945 (2008)


Circa 1900 Uruguayan medical authorities prided themselves on their country's health achievement the lowest recorded infant mortality rate in Latin America and one of the lowest rates in the world. Over the next three decades, however, these doctors' pride suffered blow after blow as Uruguay's infant mortality stagnated at roughly the same 1900 rate, while other countries experienced sustained mortality declines. Even more frustrating was the apparent inadequacy of the measures that physicians themselves had advocated and implemented. This paper explores Uruguay's infant mortality dynamics during the first half of the twentieth century through the observations, acerbic debates, analyses, policy-making, and administrative perspectives of the country's pediatricians and public health experts. Only after infant health began to be addressed as an integral part of Uruguay's burgeoning welfare state in the 1930s did infant mortality rates start to decline once again. Keywords: infant mortality, Uruguay, public health, Luis Morquio, welfare state, Julio Bauzá, wet nurses, milk depots (gotas de leche)

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Authors & Contributors
Birn, Anne-Emanuelle
Pollero, Raquel
Cabella, Wanda
Perdiguero Gil, Enrique
Langford, Christopher
Jones, Margaret
Medical History
Estudios Interdisciplinarios de America Latina y el Caribe
Dynamis: Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam
Social History of Medicine
Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
Asclepio: Archivo Iberoamericano de Historia de la Medicina
Seminari d'Estudis sobre la Ciència
Bloomsbury Press
University of California, Berkeley
Open University (United Kingdom)
University of Minnesota
University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Public health
Infant health services
Vital statistics
Social welfare
Ballantyne, John William
Great Britain
Sri Lanka
20th century, early
20th century
19th century
18th century
Sociedad Española de Higiene
League of Nations

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