Object of the Month: September 2018

Learn from the Soviet Red Cross and Red Crescent Health Patrols to Keep our Schools Clean and Healthy

School Red Cross „Health Patrol“ propaganda poster, early 1950s (Printed by North Bohemia Print Works, Liberec)

In the early 1950s the Czechoslovak Red Cross became a mass organization, as well as a part of the state-controlled healthcare system. The Red Cross was to „start over“, taking up the Soviet Red Cross and the Red Crescent as a model, rather than the pre-war tradition. Red Cross „Health Patrols“ were established in schools, factories and communities with no available medical care. School „Health Patrols“, composed of pupils bearing the „Be Ready for Sanitary Defense“ (grade and middle school) and „Ready for Sanitary Defense“ (high school) badges, controlled personal hygiene of pupils and public hygiene in schools and assisted school physicians – where they were available – in health examinations. In the Soviet Union, similar patrols and badges were introduced in the mid- 1930: as well as in the post-war Czechoslovakia, health education was closely linked to civil defense and preparation of the population for war. Around 1960, the badges were renamed to the less cumbersome „Young Medic.“

National Medical Library Medical Museum Graphic Arts Collection, MG 28



Top left: Organisations of Soviet Red Cross and Red Crescent in Schools establish Health Patrols from among their members, bearers of the GSO and BGSO (Ready for Sanitary Defense/ Be Ready for Sanitary Defese) Badges.

Top right: Supervision of classroom hygiene.

Center left: Control of personal hygiene of students.

Center right: Hygiene Room contains all tools to maintain personal hygiene and provide first aid.

Bottom left: Tasks of the Health Patrol: Participation in implementing health measures in the school; Control of the students’ personal hygiene; Supervision of classroom hygiene; First Aid provision.

Bottom right: Every year, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Committees organize competitions of school Health Patrols. Preparation of patrols for the competition.

Be Ready for Sanitary Defense card, 1950s. Medical Museum Collection, 257/2018
























Be Ready for Sanitary Defense card, 1950s. Medical Museum Collection, 257/2018