History of the Department of Epidemiology

The Department of Epidemiology of KhNMU is one of the oldest not only in Ukraine but also in the world. It was founded in 1930 by Mikhail Nikolaevich Solovyov, a student of the founder of the national scientific epidemiology, Academician Danylo Kirillovych Zabolotny. World-renowned scientist, member of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences, Honored Scientist of the USSR, Academician MM Solovyov headed the department from 1930 to 1969. In 1933, M.M. Solovyov published a textbook in Ukrainian on the course “Epidemiology”, and in 1936 – a manual for physicians and students “General Epidemiology”. These textbooks became the first printed publications in Ukraine in this area.

During this period, the scientific work of the department and training was carried out in two areas: regional epidemiology and the development of epidemiology of dysentery, diphtheria, scarlet fever, infectious hepatitis, toxicoinfections, helminthiasis, tularemia and others. The results of these works are reflected in the dissertations, as well as some original works of B.V. Boykov, O.С. Gritsay, О.G. Schwartz, I.I. Savoysky, G.G. Rubinstein, G.M. Fisher, and later – V.M. Hurtovenko, L.V. Kolotylova, T.O. Tishchenko, V.А. Shmunes. Z.I. Mazurkevich, V.M. Zhidovtsev, N.I. Alekseeva defended dissertations on the topic “Epidemiology of helminthiasis”. Additionally, topics of the epidemiology of tularemia and measures to eliminate its foci (M.F. Shmuter), the epidemiology of food poisoning (I.I. Chernov), the epidemiology and prevention of infectious hepatitis (V.M. Zhdanov, G.M. Starobinets), viral diseases of encephalitis in winter (I.I. Savoy), etc. were studied. In parallel with the above topics, questions on the theory of epidemiology were developed (M.M. Solovyov).

In the early 60’s of the twentieth century, the department for the first time in Ukraine began to solve an important scientific and practical problem regarding the influence of certain environmental factors on the formation and maintenance of active artificial immunity against diphtheria and other infections. VD took part in the implementation of this topic and achieved certain successes. Chernenko (candidate and doctoral dissertation), A.A. Zagnoyko, O.F. Lysenko, M.N. Lysykh, L.V. Badanina, V.V. Medvedeva, I.Ya. Egorov, S.I. Lomot, V.M. Kolomiets, B.M. Ovcharenko, Yu.S. Fedorov (PhD theses). At the same time, the issues of epidemiology and prevention of various infections were studied. For example, A.K. Gritsay studied the epidemiological features of malaria, I.I. Klyuyev – tularemia, L.D. Romanova – helminthiasis and giardiasis, L.O. Klyach – helminthiasis, I.D. Ladny, G.I. Padalka – tetanus, S.M. Rundina – typhoid fever, O.M. Karaban – tularemia, Yu.O. Zheludkov – cholera, M.M. Gordius – acute intestinal diseases.

From 1969 to 1991, the Department of Epidemiology was headed by a student of MM Solovyov – Professor Vladimir Dmitrievich Chernenko.

Teachers of the department in this period were associate professors V.M. Zhidovtsev, О.І. Lomot O.I. Goncharov and assistants N.I. Alekseeva, S.M. Rundina, O.M. Karaban, G.I. Padalka. The chief state sanitary doctor of the Kharkiv oblast worked part-time as a teacher B.M. Ovcharenko, head of the Department of especially dangerous infections of the Kharkiv oblast sanitary-epidemiological station T.S. Pankova and the doctor-epidemiologist of this department Yu.S. Fedorov.

From 1991 to 2010 the head of the department was Dr. Med. Sciences, Professor Oleg Mikhailovich Karaban.

Scientific activity at the department was started by world-renowned scientists, in particular Academician of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences V.M. Zhdanov, who proposed to the WHO a program for the global eradication of smallpox and which was successfully implemented in practice. This program was implemented in practice by a pupil of the Department, Professor ID Ladny, who was later elected Deputy Director-General of the WHO, and Professor O.M. Caraban. Professor VD Chernenko was a WHO consultant on diphtheria control.

Since 2011, the Department of Epidemiology is headed by Dr. Med. Sciences, Professor Tetyana Alexandrivna Chumachenko. In 2020, Professor Chumachenko T.O. became the prize-winner of the annual competition of the NGO “NAS of Ukraine” for the best edition of 2020 in the nomination “Monographs”, diploma III place, in 2021 she received an honorary diploma of local authorities and a scholarship named after I.I. Mechnikova.