REVIEW – May 2010

Institutionalisation of Estonian dermatovenerology before 1940


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The institutionalisation of dermatovenerology in the Republic of Estonia started already when the War for Independence was going on. In 1919–1920 several decrees were passed to control the spreading of veneral disease and consequent prostitution. During peace time the issues of venereal diseases remained the main concern of Estonian dermatovenerologists, with numerous laws adopted and relevant discussions held on different levels and in different contexts. Besides venereal  diseases, the Estonian society was concerned with endemic leprosy. The professor of dermatovenerology at the University of Tartu, Aleksander Paldrok, was a renowned leprologist. He participated also in involving his colleagues into professional societies. The Dermatological Society of Tartu, established in 1935, can be regarded as the predecessor of the present Estonian Society for Dermatovenerologists which celebrated its 75th anniversary in February 2010.