General Council

Meeting of the General Council, Paris, 1924


Hygiene in the Schools.

While the function of the Junior Red Cross in the health field is primarily to interest children in the care of their own health and that of others, it is desirable that Red Cross Societies should, in connexion with their Junior activities, encourage the adoption, where necessary, of medical inspection of schools and the provision of school nurses and collaborate with them in the introduction of standard methods of weighing and measuring children”.



The General Council recommends that National Societies take part in the campaign against tuberculosis:

1. By the training of nurses and especially of public health nurses.

2. By co-operation, in cases where the Red Cross undertakes such practical work, in the establishment in each district of dispensaries, paying special attention to the protection of children and, as regards infants, taking part in the organization of babies’ centres.

The General Council expresses the wish that each National Society shall establish within its organization a technical medical bureau whose function it shall be to co-ordinate and direct the various medical and public health activities of the Red Cross.

The General Council particularly calls the attention of National Societies to the fact that it is thus possible to increase the effectiveness of voluntary organizations and at the same time to reduce their working expenses”.


Venereal Diseases.

The General Council, considering the usefulness of an ever-increasing co-ordination of all efforts in connexion with moral and prophylactic propaganda and the favourable opinions expressed by the Warsaw Conference (April 1923) and the Buenos Aires Conference (December 1923) recommends:

1o That the National Red Cross Societies should collabo- rate in the combating of venereal diseases, either by their direct action in their own country, or through the medium of the “Union Internationale contre le Peril Vénérien”.

2o That a scientific knowledge of the prevention and treatment of venereal diseases should be included in the programme of courses for Hospital and Public Health Nurses



The General Council recommends National Societies to consider Cancer as a social scourge on the same plane as Tuberculosis and Venereal Diseases, and to take part in the campaign against Cancer in the following way:

a) To organize propaganda in such a way as to draw the attention of the public to the necessity for early treatment, as well as to the existing centres for early diagnosis and treatment.

b) To insist on the social importance of including the subject of Cancer in the course of instruction for visiting nurses.

c) To participate, as far as possible, in the hospitalization of cancer patients, in view of the fact that, in many countries, treatment centres cannot give the full measure of their service, owing to lack of beds”



Recognizing the educational and economic value of the trained nurse to the nation’s welfare and the need for adequate nursing facilities in time of war, disaster and epidemic, the General Council, realizing that one of the purposes of the National Red Cross Societies is “the improvement of health, the prevention of disease and the mitigation of suffering”, pleads that National Red Cross Societies devote themselves to the development and advancement of nursing resources in their several countries, and recommends:

1. That the promotion and development of public health nursing should form a vital part of the programme of National Red Cross Societies in countries in which National Red Cross Societies are engaged in health activities and in countries in which the Government public and private organizations look to the Society for assistance in their health work.

2. That National Red Cross Societies should endeavour earnestly, in their respective countries, to promote in the minds of the public the national importance of the nurse; to work for the advancement of nursing education; to encourage educated women to enter schools of nursing and to improve the social and economic status of the nurse.

3. That National Red Cross Societies should endeavour to stimulate the development of schools of nursing of the highest order in their respective countries as much as possible in accordance with a plan and curriculum subsequently to be drawn up by the Nursing Advisory Board of the League, providing that institutions of this character do not already exist.

4. That National Red Cross Societies should recognize the value of nursing organizations and should work with them to promote their ideals for the best interest of the countries’ welfare.

5. That National Red Cross Societies should enroll, in a nursing reserve, all qualified nurses in the country who would be in a position to respond to the call of their country in time of war, disaster or epidemic.

6. That while recommending to the National Red Cross Societies the standardization of nurses to be enrolled or trained by the Red Cross Society in the future, we also gratefully recognize the valuable services rendered to their countries, in the past, by those nurses who have received less training, and recommend that they still hold the privilege and title of “Red Cross Nurse“, but that from now onwards all new groups trained by Red Cross Societies in short courses for emergency purposes should be designated “Voluntary Aid Detachments” or by a similar term and should serve under the enrolled Red Cross nurses.

7. In order that the Government and the public of each country may be assured that the National Red Cross Society will provide adequate and efficient nursing service, when called upon, and in order to facilitate international co-operation during war or disaster, that National Red Cross Societies should, hereafter, designate as Red Cross nurses, only those who have graduated from schools of nursing (schools accepting women of higher education) and giving not less than two years of consecutive and full time training, the ideal being a 3 years’ course in connexion with a hospital or hospitals providing medical, surgical and special services.

8. That National Red Cross Societies should appoint an Advisory Nursing Committee consisting of representative nurses and representatives of the medical profession, the health, educational and hospital authorities and others with a knowledge of nursing, to study the need for nursing service, to determine the nursing activities to be undertaken by the National Red Cross Society and to guide its development.

9. That during the ensuing two years the League should continue the International Course in Public Health Nursing and should develop an International Course for the Training of Nurse Administrators and Teachers of Schools of Nurses.

10. That the Nursing Division of the League should be put in a position to advise and assist National Red Cross Societies in the development of their nursing activities”.

General Council

Meeting of the General Council, Geneva, 1922


The General Council recommends that the Secretariat take occasion, when possible, to extend invitations to member societies to delegate nominees who shall undertake, by means of visits to the headquarters of other national societies and to the headquarters of the League, extensive studies of the organization methods of Red Cross Societies and their activities, notably public health, nursing, popular health instruction and Junior Red Cross”.


The General Council considers that the promotion and stimulation of public health nursing should form an integral part of the programme of every national Red Cross Society, provided this task is not already accomplished by other organizations, and recommends:

1. That each national Red Cross Society appoint a Red Cross Public Health Nursing Committee.

2. That the League continue during the ensuing two years the international course for the training of teachers of public health nursing: and that the League’s Nursing Division be prepared, whenever requested by a national Red Cross Society, to render active help in public health nursing, and to assist in all matters pertaining to the nursing field.

3. That the League Secretariat endeavour to stimulate the organization of schools of nursing of the highest order in those countries in which institutions of this character do not already exist.

4. That all national Red Cross Societies press the public authorities in their respective countries to improve the material and moral standing of public health nurses. The General Council, recognizing the great advantage to be derived from the establishment of an international course of training for teachers in public health nursing at a centre readily accessible to the countries of the two American continents, and the Far East, recommends that the League Secretariat examine the possibilities in this regard in consultation with the Societies concerned, with a view to instituting such a course”.