A day to remember - Andrija Štampar's birthday

It was 129 years ago today......

Andrija was born 1 September 1888 in Brodski Drenovac, in modern Požega-Slavonia County.  He enrolled at the Medical School in Vienna in 1906, which was at the time the most important medical center in the world. On 23 December 1911, he was awarded the title of Doctor of Universal Medicine.

In 1919, he attended the Congress of Inter-Allied Countries for Social Hygiene in Paris giving a lecture on children's health. It showed at that time that he had a clear concept of organizing the public health service. Andrija Štampar is universally known as "the man of action".

At the young age of 31 he became principal of the former Yugoslav Health Service in Belgrade (Beograd). Thanks to Štampar's endeavours, a special Institute of Social Medicine was founded affiliated with the University of Zagreb School of Medicine.

From 1931 to 1933, Štampar was permanently employed as the expert of the League of Nation's Health Organization. The Health Organization sent him as an advisor to help the Chinese health administration in the control of the mass infectious diseases that cropped up after devastating floods in 1931.

Dr. Štampar has come to China to help our Government in its work on reconstruction based on the plan of technical cooperation with the League of Nations. He went round several provinces, from Kansu and Shanghai in the West to Kwangtung and Kwangsi in the South, and made a valuable contribution to the reconstruction of our villages, especially in the field of rural health protection services. On his departure we wish to give this to him as a remembrance of his work in China, hoping he will come to visit us again.
-- Ching Feng

During the International Health Conference in New York in the summer of 1946 the draft of the World Health Organization (WHO) was accepted. The First World Health Assembly was called with the ratification of the WHO Constitution. It was in session from 24 June to 24 July 1948. in Geneva, Štampar was elected as the first President of the Assembly unanimously. At the 8th regular session of WHO in Mexico City, in 1955, Štampar was awarded the Leon Bernard Foundation Prize and Medal, the greatest international recognition of merit in the field of social medicine.

Andrija Štampar founded School of Public Health in Zagreb in 1927. He became the Dean of the Medical School of Zagred University for the academic year 1940/41. With the energy so characteristic of him, he set to work on the reform of medical training. During the German occupation of WWII, Stampar was arrested and interned. On his return in May 1945, he resumed his duty as Professor of Hygiene and Social Medicine at the Medical School and became head of the School of Public Health in Zagreb.

Štampar was the Rector of Zagreb University for the academic year 1945/46. In 1952, he was again elected the Dean of the Medical School, for 5 years consecutively. He also had an important role in founding of the Medical School at Rijeka in 1955.


  1. Andrija Stampar, in: Wikipedia. Accessed 27 August 2017
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