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National Intitutes of Health
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Health Organisation Correspondence 1926-1938
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Historical Note

The Health Section of the League of Nations originated at the Fourth Assembly of the League of Nations in 1923. Its primary purpose was to help control the spread of epidemics. The United States, not a member of the League, had no official representation. Surgeon General Hugh S. Cumming, however, believed the United States needed to participate. The United States was a member of the International Office of Public Health, which was established in 1908 and based in Paris. Upon formation of the League's Health Section, the International Office of Public Health became part of its Advisory Council. As a member of the IOPH's Permanent Committee, the United States became an indirect and unofficial participant in the League's Health Section. Public Health Service officials at the U.S. Embassy in Paris were frequent correspondents with the IOPH members.