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Professor BERISLAV BORČIĆ, Sr., Ph.D. (1891 - 1977), hygiene and social medicine specialist

Berislav Borčić attended high school in Sušak and then studied at schools of veterinary medicine in Vienna and Bern. Right before the World War I, he fled to Serbia as a military fugitive, and since 1914 worked in Niš as a contract assistant of the Pasteur Institute. In 1919 he specialized in hygiene and social medicine in Bern. That same year he organized the Serovaccination Institute in Belgrade and became a temporary director of the Pasteur Institute.

In 1921 he came to Zagreb and became the first head of the National Bacteriological Institute (the Epidemiological Institute since 1923, today the Croatian Institute of Public Health), which he founded and created along with Dr. Andrija Štampar. From 1926 to 1940 he was in charge of the Hygiene Institute within the School of Public Health in Zagreb.

He spent eight years in China (from 1930 to 1938) as a chief adviser at the Chinese Ministry of Public Health. Thanks to his joined efforts with Štampar, Chinese provinces and towns got their health service set up. He was asked by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRRA) in 1946 to promote and organize health services in China again, and in 1947 he established and led the World Health Organization (WHO) mission in China.

He was Chief Health Adviser to the UN International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Paris from 1948 to 1950 and New York (1950-55), and from 1955 to 1957 Deputy Director-General of UNICEF in New York.

He is a person of historical importance for the Republic of Croatia.

Berislav Borčić
Trsat Cemetery
WDEC 2021

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