Public Health Epidemiologic Station
Public Health Epidemiologic Station
(in Russian, sanitarno-epidemiologicheskaia stantsiia), the main specialized unit of the public health epidemiologic service. In 1891, F. F. Erisman organized the first public health epidemiologic station in Russia to study the health and epidemic situation in and around Moscow. Public health epidemiologic stations were established in the Ukraine in 1927 and in the RSFSR in 1932. They are integrated state health-inspection facilities. In 1939 the People’s Commissariat of Public Health of the USSR approved a statute on public health epidemiologic stations. There are republic, krai, oblast, okrug, municipal, and district stations; there are also water-transport and other types of stations. The Ministry of Railroads of the USSR and the Ministry of Civil Aviation of the USSR also have stations.
Public health epidemiologic stations perform state health inspections in the areas under their jurisdiction and organize operations to prevent and eliminate infectious, parasitic, and occupational diseases. A station consists of health and hygienic, epidemiologic, and disinfection divisions. The health and hygienic division includes departments of community, occupational, nutritional, and childhood and adolescent hygiene, as well as laboratories. The epidemiologic division consists of counterepidemic and parasitological departments and bacteriological laboratories. The disinfection division consists of departments of evacuation and focal disinfection, room disinfection, and health treatments, as well as self-supporting departments of prophylactic disinfection, disinsectization, and deratization.
The republic, krai, and oblast public health epidemiologic stations have special laboratories, for example, for physicochemical research, as well as organizational and methodological divisions. Some stations have divisions concerned with particularly harmful diseases, radiological sections, and facilities for antirabies vaccinations. Administratively, the stations are subordinate to their corresponding public health agencies. On matters of state health inspection they are subordinate only to their superior agency or to institutions of the public health epidemiologic service. The chief physicians of krai, oblast, municipal, and district (under municipal jurisdiction) public health epidemiologic stations are at the same time deputy directors of the corresponding divisions of the public health service and deputy chief physicians of rural raions.
In 1973 there were 4,275 public health epidemiologic stations, compared with 1,943 in 1940. There were 12,500 specialists with a higher medical education and approximately 25,000 with a secondary medical education employed in these stations in 1940; in 1973 there were more than 40,000 specialists with a higher medical education and approximately 120,000 with a secondary medical education. The research and production facilities of the stations included 4,200 bacteriological laboratories, 1,168 laboratories of the departments of community, occupational, and nutritional hygiene, 215 departments of physicochemical research, 116 toxicologic departments, 456 departments for the determination of the residues of toxic chemicals, and 178 virological departments.
Most of the other socialist countries, including the Hungarian People’s Republic, the Polish People’s Republic, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, and the Mongolian People’s Republic, have stations or facilities similar in function, structure, and equipment to the stations in the USSR; the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, for example, has district public health epidemiologic institutes. Capitalist countries do not have public health epidemiologic stations.