Norilsk medicine began in small hut

Norilsk medicine began in small hut

April 14, 2023

The first Norilsk hospital started operating in the early 1930s, when the Tsvetmetzoloto mining expedition was working on the site of the future city and the Norilsk industrial office was organized.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. A hut of 230 cubic meters was made the first-aid post, “completely unadapted for a hospital facility”. The medical staff smeared the log walls with clay and painted. The medical hut housed a general ward, a waiting room and a pharmacy.

The composition of the medical organization in 1930 was also very insufficient: Doctor Stepanov, a midwife, a nurse and two assistants.

Nevertheless, more than seven thousand patients passed through this first hospital in Norilsk in two years, despite the fact that the industrial office’s staff was measured by only hundreds of people.

Patients often complained of colds and beriberi. The doctor saw the causes of diseases in “difficult climatic and unsatisfactory living conditions”. And he recommended to carefully look at the native population diet nature, which is quite adapted to the climate and does not suffer from beriberi.

“They eat mainly animal food of the local fauna, therefore, always fresh deer meat, partridge, fish with a high content of fat…”

In the History Spot photo project’s previous publication, we told about the first bar “like in the West” opened in Norilsk in the late 1960s.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

April 14, 2023

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