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Cholera in Egypt and the Origins of WHO, 1947
Marcos Cueto
Professor Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

Part of a larger study on the history of WHO, Global Health Histories initiative, E. Fee, T. Brown et al.

General theme and questions:
In 1947 the organizers of WHO planned to hold the 1st World Health Assembly within a few months but the process took longer and faced urgent problems such as a cholera outbreak Tension between the need to respond to emergencies and institution building processes How to combine relief with prevention? How to modernize quarantine regulations? How to work in a conflictive region and period? (Palestine refugees, the creation of Israel, the beginning of the Cold War) John Lennon “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”

Background
Between 1882-1920s part of the British Empire but never officially a colony In 1922 the UK unilaterally declared independence

However, British influence continued (maintaining its control over the Suez canal) Occupied by the Germans during most of the WWII In the early 20th century an export economy: cotton In 1947 the total population of the country over 19 million British soldiers at the piramid of Giza, c. 1899 www.artehistoria.com

H.M. Farouk I, King of Egypt and of Sudan. ruled Egypt between 1936 and 1952. Undermined by accusations of a lavish royal lifestyle in a poor country, corruption and pick-pocketing In 1945 Egypt became a member of the Arab League with headquarters in Cairo; against UN plan for partition of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state Egypt was defeated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War but maintained control of a strip of territory around Gaza

A country on the threshold of a revolution
A military coup in 1952, directed by Gamal A. Nasser, forced Farouk to abdicate A year later a republic emerged

Shortly after WWII: about 1000 Arab refugees homeless in Lebanon, Syrian, Jordan and Gaza Medical and relief programs under WHO`s...