Croatia issues Healthy Cities stamp


To honour the 20th anniversary of the Healthy Cities movement, celebrated at the 2008 annual WHO European Healthy Cities Network meeting in Zagreb, Croatia issued a special stamp.

This year marked the 120th anniversary of the birth of Professor Andrija Štampar (1888–1958), a distinguished physician in the field of social medicine. This energetic and dedicated pioneer became the director of the Yugoslav Health Service when he was only 31 years old, and set up the school of public health in Zagreb that now bears his name while working in an international capacity in public health.

He was a founding member of WHO, and as its first President, a constant and dynamic leader in shaping WHO’s development. He was deeply and effectively devoted to improving people’s lives and health conditions, and was one of the first people to stress the importance of improving social conditions by addressing health needs. He thus initiated the very concept of social medicine. Under his guidance, WHO started intercountry collaboration in health issues and was able to help economically weaker countries. Professor Štampar promoted public health education and much-needed reforms in the health sector and laid the foundations for the organization of health systems, which has given public health a key role.