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HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF BIOCIDES AND MEDICAL ECOLOGY

The issue of health care of the population, at the end of the 19th century, was closely connected with the development of trade and industry, hindering their expansion by frequent epidemics that affected the interests of rich merchants and industrialists. Such a situation aroused the interest of the society in organizing health care. Fearing the plague and other infectious diseases that plagued them at the time, the governments of many countries were forced to pass laws and take measures to protect the population.
The centuries-old Turkish rule on the Balkan Peninsula has left behind a low socio-economic standard. The population of Serbia lived mainly in the countryside and rural life, with few literate people and without organized health care.
The health service in Serbia, as in other European countries, belonged to the Ministry of the Interior. A more serious organization began in 1839, with the separation of medical services into a separate administration. In 1845, Dr. E. was appointed head of the Sanitary Administration. Lindermeyer, who in the 15 years he spent in that position, left a significant contribution in all branches of health care. Among other things, he made a great effort in the suppression of infectious diseases and education of the population, and he especially stood out in the fight against syphilis.
In further work on the organization of the health service, a special place belongs to Dr. Vladan Djordjevic (Figures 1 and 2), who participated in the adoption of the first law “On the regulation of the medical profession and the protection of public health” in 1881. On the basis of this law, the first chemical and bacteriological laboratories in Serbia were established and the first reporting of infectious diseases was regulated, following the example of foreign countries.

Pictures 1 and 2: Dr. Vladan Djordjevic

Within this law, a number of decrees regulate many important issues: duties and rights of district, county and municipal doctors and midwives, the issue of private practice, the issue of medical fees, the issue of quarantine and vaccination against smallpox, rules on cemeteries and burials.
The organization of the health service of Serbia at that time was at the level of the most developed European countries, and its health service, at the international meeting in Paris, was praised and pointed out as an example to other countries.

SERBIAN MEDICAL SOCIETY

The idea of ​​founding the Serbian Medical Association was born in the 1960s. It was realized in 1872, thanks to fifteen Belgrade doctors, and especially with the engagement of an energetic and young, military doctor, Dr. Vladan Djordjevic.
The company was founded with the goal arising from the Constitution of the company, which states, among other things:
– to start medical literature in our country once and for all
– to invite Serbian thought to independent cultural work and
– to establish a Serbian hearth for science

Since its founding, the Society has made an invaluable contribution to the development of health services and medical science in this area.
Doctors, members of the Society, participated in the creation of the first law on health, which was adopted in 1881, monitored its application in practice and made proposals for amendments. From the very beginning, they started the magazine “Serbian Archive for All Medicine”, in which the minutes from the regular and extraordinary sessions of the Society, lectures and papers from clinical practice were published. The magazine “Narodno zdravlje” started publishing in 1896 with the intention of popularizing medicine. The members of the Society maintained contacts with foreign scientists and thus enabled the flow of the latest knowledge from medical science. They distinguished themselves in activities to combat infectious diseases, especially leprosy, syphilis and smallpox, and as part of these activities, in 1889, they introduced mandatory vaccination against smallpox with animal lymphoma. At one of the regular sessions, in 1891, they launched an initiative to establish a Disinfection Institute.

ESTABLISHMENT OF A DISINFECTION INSTITUTE

The epidemiological situation in Serbia at the end of the 19th century was difficult, and infectious diseases, especially diphtheria, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, spotted fever and intestinal infections, occupied a significant place in the morbidity and mortality of the population. Quarantine measures in their suppression, until then the only ones applied in an organized manner, were not sufficient.
The knowledge of disinfection, as one of the important measures in the suppression of infections, prompted the members of the Serbian Medical Association to put the problem of infectious diseases and measures for their suppression on the agenda at their ninth regular meeting, held on October 5, 1891. At the same session, it was concluded as necessary to procure a permanent disinfection device for Belgrade and to beg the Minister of the Interior for an order for the municipality of Belgrade to procure such a device. Dr. M. Jovanovic Batut was obliged to make a project for the Disinfection Institute.
At the next session held on October 19, 1891, Dr. Mihailo Markovic and Dr. Milan Jovanovic-Batut were elected representatives with the task of submitting to the Presidency of the Municipality of Belgrade a letter and a project for the Disinfection Institute.
At the first regular meeting on November 9, 1891, it was announced that the representatives of the Serbian Medical Association had submitted to the Presidency of the Municipality of Belgrade a project on the establishment of a Disinfection Institute.
In the register of decisions of the Municipal Board from January 27, 1892, under number 8, a proposal was registered and a commission was elected to study the proposal.
The Municipal Board, with the consent of the Ministry of the Interior, approved the implementation of the project. The report of the Ministry of Construction, Ministry of the Interior, dated October 25, 1893, refers to that, in which it is announced that the works on the building, invoices and other documents for the Disinfection Institute have been completed.
The first building of the Disinfection Institute was located in Vracar. It was built at the expense of the state, from funds intended for the control of cholera, and 3,100 dinars were spent for its construction (for illustration, at that time 8 oxen could be bought for 100 dinars. If we multiply that with today’s average ox price of 160,000 dinars, we come to values ​​of about 40,000,000 dinars of today’s equivalent).
At the suggestion of the court, at the beginning of 1895, the rules on the organization of the Disinfection Institute were put on the agenda of the Municipal Board. The Municipal Board forwarded the court’s proposal on the organization of the Institute to the Board of Trustees for study, whose members were Dr. P. Stejić, Dr. N. Nikolić, dr M. Jovanović-Batut, professor of the Great School, etc. D. Nikolajevic – head of the municipal ambulance. After studying the rules, at the next session of the municipal board, it was decided that they would be printed in the magazine “Belgrade Municipal Newspaper” and in the “Serbian Archive”, the newspaper of the Serbian Medical Association.
At the regular session of the Municipal Board on June 8, 1895, the Rulebook for disinfection was finally adopted, which regulated the structure of the City Institute for Disinfection.
The institute was equipped with one steam disinfection device, with a capacity of 3-4 cubic meters, and one carriage for transporting the belongings of the sick or the dead. Disinfection was mandatory in patients with cholera, smallpox, diphtheria, typhus, heartburn and scarlet fever. Chemical disinfection was performed with carbolic acid in the Disinfection Institute or the apartment of the patients. The poorest were exempt from payment.
The Rulebook also defines the procedure with objects, clothes and premises in which the sick or deceased stayed.
We have the first written report on the scope and type of work performed in the Institute in the “Annual Report of the City Physicist of the City of Belgrade” for 1901, published in the Belgrade municipal newspaper in 1902. From that report, we learn that the City Institute for Disinfection in 1901, by order of the authorities, disinfected 11 schools, 336 apartments, 70 antique shops and 712 people. At the request of private persons, for the same period, disinfection of 1 school, 31 apartments, 1 antique shop and 65 people was performed.
Between 1903 and 1904, Belgrade received a new, second in a row, building of the Institute for Disinfection, which was located on the site of a park in front of today’s Faculty of Economics. Such a location was suitable primarily due to the proximity of the railway station, ie more efficient implementation of anti-epidemic measures.
The work of the Institute for Disinfection can be followed in the reports of the City Physicist, until the beginning of the Balkan Wars and the First World War. It is evident from these reports that the Institute worked continuously and that in that period it made an invaluable contribution in the suppression of infectious diseases.

INSTITUTE BETWEEN TWO WORLD WARS

The First World War left severe consequences on the health service and the health condition of the population of Serbia. Typhoid fever, influenza epidemic, relapsing fever and typhoid fever marked that period. Work had to be done to combat these epidemics, with little expertise and resources at their disposal. Accumulated health problems, especially in the suppression of infections, required more efficient solutions, and the only effective measures were disinfection and disinsection. Obsolete and worn-out equipment available to the Institute could not meet the new needs, so it became necessary to build a new Institute for Disinfection.
The task was entrusted to Dr. M. Bulija, bacteriologist, acting head of the Department of Public Hygiene. To that end, in 1928, Dr. Buli visited institutes in France, Germany and Zagreb. After returning from a study trip around Europe, based on his observations, he made a project for a new Institute for Disinfection.
Construction work on the building was completed on December 15, 1932, in Franche D’Eperea Street no. 10 (Figure 3). The installation of equipment and apparatus began immediately, and at the end of 1933, in the presence of renowned experts, the Institute was put into operation.

Picture 3: The building of the Department of Disinfection in Franche D Eperea Street

The new Disinfection Department was equipped with the most modern devices, as follows:
– universal Rubner disinfection device
– formalin disinfectant
– two disinfection devices
– a cauldron for cooking laundry
– washing machine spin
– various disinfection devices

It was one of the most modernly equipped and arranged institutes in Europe at that time. In the years that followed, the volume of business increased. During 1933, 901 disinfections and 304 disinsections were performed, and in 1936 that number rose to 1767 disinfections and 756 disinsections. Dependiculation, bathing (Figure 4), haircutting, shaving and disinfection of things and clothes were restored.

Picture 4: Bath for depediculation and patient bathing

In order to combat tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, mandatory disinfection of used items is prescribed before sale, and a seal of the Institute is placed on each disinfected item.
During 1935, great attention was paid to the clean-up of the markets, which was done every morning before the start of work. Work was also done on the disinfection of garbage cans, garbage dumps and street crates.
On May 18, 1936, the Scabies Control Station was opened at the Institute, which already had 5,841 people in treatment in the first eight months, mostly children.
In order to control malaria, work was done to destroy mosquitoes by spraying the pond with “Parisian greenery” (copper II acetoarsenite) and petroleum products. Efforts were also made to control flies.
During World War II, the Institute operated on a reduced scale. After the liberation, the work continued within the activities of disinfection, disinsection – especially depediculation and deratization.

WORK OF THE INSTITUTE AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR

At the end of the war, the Disinfection Institute underwent certain changes in its organizational form. Within these changes, in October 1947, at the 23rd Session of the Executive Board of the People’s Board of the City of Belgrade, it was decided to separate the Epidemiological Service from the Institute for Disinfection and form the Epidemiological-Bacteriological Institute, today’s City Institute for Health Protection.
In the further organization of the work of the Institute, in order to strengthen the services of disinfection, disinsection and deratization, the Institute for Disinsection “Disinsection” was merged with the Institute in 1956, which worked at the Institute for Health Protection of Serbia and in 1978 RO “Sanitarac-Cijan” – Split . Thus, the Institute for Disinfection, Disinsection and Pest Control was formed and it bore that name until 2007. It is registered as a health institution with independent financing and the task of controlling and destroying the causes and carriers of infectious diseases and other pests.
Along with the reorganization of the Institute, educated, young people were hired, which contributed to better quality DDD work. The first trial systematic deratization was performed in 1958 on the location around “Viline vode” – the bank of the Danube. After successfully performing the second trial systematic deratization on a larger area, the Council for Public Health of the People’s Committee of the City of Belgrade passed the Order on deratization in the narrower area of ​​the city in 1960 (Figures 5 and 6).

Picture 5: Effects of rodent control Picture 6: Collection of dead rodents

With the introduction of systematic deratization, the scope of work on the destruction of the population of harmful rodents and insects has increased significantly. Depending on the need, from 1957-1967. year, the Institute occasionally performed gas disinsection in the wider area of ​​Serbia and SFRY.
With the construction of the Belgrade-Nish highway and the “Gazelle” bridge in 1967, unexpected problems arose in the work of the Institute. The building was demolished, and a new facility was to be built as soon as possible. In addition to numerous problems, especially in finding financial resources, within a year, in 1968, a new building of the Institute was built, in Trebevićka 16, where it is still located today (Figures 7 and 8).

Pictures 7 and 8: The building of the Institute in Trebevićka Street in 1970

After moving into the new building, the Institute was equipped with:
– vacuum chamber for ethylene oxide sterilization (Fig. 9)
– laboratory for preparation of DDD funds (Figure 10)
– a special bunker for storing toxic gases
– adequate outdoor space for testing DDD assets
– modern laundry (picture 11)
– a larger number of motor vehicles (Figures 12 and 13)
– sanitary pass

Picture 9: Ethylene oxide sterilization chambers

Picture 10: Preparation of poisonous baits for rodents

Picture 11: Modernly equipped laundry

Picture 12 and 13: Motor vehicles for field work

In addition to working on regular occasions, the DDD Institute also excelled in performing work in emergency situations, such as the jaundice epidemic in Resnik, implementing special measures during floods, and played the most important role in controlling the smallpox epidemic from March 22 to 23. April 1972.

Immediately after the appearance of the first cases of smallpox in Belgrade, by order of the City Headquarters for the Fight against Quarantine Diseases, the DDD Institute was put on standby and immediately joined the team work of the anti-epidemic service, with professional mobile teams, vehicles, complete equipment and disinfectants. . In the action of suppressing smallpox, the activity of the Institute was expressed in the daily disinfection in quarantine hospitals, quarantines and other potential hotspots.
In the quarantines “Čarapićev brest” and “1000 Ruža”, the Institute had teams that spent the entire duration of the epidemic in quarantine, with the task of disinfection during the disease, final disinfection, disinfection of corpses of smallpox and disinfection of vehicles for the transport of the sick. and a person suspected of being ill. By working to combat this most dangerous epidemic in recent history, the Institute has once again proven itself as an institution of inestimable importance in protecting the health of the population. For special merits, six employees of the Institute were awarded the Order of Labor with a golden wreath.

Picture 14: Disinfection with thermal mist MOTAN SN 1000, used preparation Neosol

Picture 15: Disinsection with thermal mist MOTAN SN 1000, used preparation Neosol

WORK OF THE DDD INSTITUTE AFTER 1990

By the decision of the Workers’ Council of the DDD Institute, at the end of 1992, due to depreciated machines and unprofitable business, the laundry stopped working, which for decades provided laundry, ironing and disinfection services to health and other institutions. Part of the workers from the laundromat were transferred to other health institutions by agreement, and part was assigned to the production unit of the DDD Institute.
During 1995, the teams of the Institute worked on the prevention of the epidemic during the migration of refugees from the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
In the control of foot-and-mouth disease in 1996, as well as in 2001, the teams of the Institute worked as part of preventive measures on the production of disinfection solutions and performed work on quarantine points and participated in maintaining disinfection barriers in the city of Belgrade.
At the beginning of 2003, the Institute performed professional forecasting, supervision and control of systematic deratization on the territory of Belgrade. These activities included field research and monitoring of the occurrence of species, abundance and assessment of the activity of populations of harmful rodents, especially their hotspots, monitoring the work of contractors of systematic rodent control in the field. Sampling and laboratory determination of the quality, toxicological and biological efficiency of the preparations used for the control of harmful rodents were also performed.
During 2005, the Institute was responsible for the organization and implementation of professional forecasting, supervision and control of the control of larvae and house forms of mosquitoes.
From 2006-2010 The Institute is responsible for the control of mosquito larvae on the territory of the city of Belgrade.
From 01.01.2007. The Department of Disinfection, Disinsection and Pest Control was renamed the Department of Biocides and Medical Ecology.