Rural children being given vaccines by a Co-Operative Medical Brigade during a mass vaccination drive, People’s Republic of China, 1969 — Daily LIFT #1004
During the Cultural Revolution these brigades were sent into or formed in the countryside to promote preventative healthcare using both western and traditional Chinese methods. The mass vaccination drives saved hundreds of thousands — possibly millions — of lives.
“Under the guidance of Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line, the poor and lower-middle peasants of the Chunhsing brigade, especially in the course of more than two years of the great proletarian cultural revolution, have continuously consolidated and developed the co-operative medical service. In accordance with the teaching of our great leader Chairman Mao: “In medical and health work, put the stress on the rural areas” they have trained a contingent of medical and health workers and formed a network of medical and health service. They persist in taking the road of self-reliance, mobilize the masses to collect medicinal herbs, popularize folk prescriptions and methods of treatment which have proved effective, and promote the integration of Western and traditional Chinese medicine. They have reduced the expenses of co-operative medical service. They carry out the guiding principle of putting prevention first to reduce the incidence and spread of disease. Protection of the commune members’ health has effectively promoted production and the further development and consolidation of the collective economy.”