Nikolai Semashko, Soviet health official

Nikolai Semashko, Soviet health official

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Nikolai Aleksandrovich Semashko (1874-1949), Soviet public health official. Semashko worked as a doctor in the 1890s, but was arrested for organising strikes during the 1905 Russian Revolution. He emigrated and joined the Bolsheviks. Following the 1917 Russian Revolutions, he was People's Commissar of Public Health (1918-1930), the first in a series of government roles where he helped to combat epidemics and improve children's health. From 1927 to 1936 he was editor of the Great Medical Encyclopedia. He was elected a member of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences in 1944. Photographed in Moscow, Russia.

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