Womens National Health Association HIR Blog

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Monica's BabyclubThis photograph (larger image below) from the Dublin City Library and Archive shows groups of women with their babies and young children outside St Monica’s Babies Club in St. Augustine Street, close to John’s Lane Church in the heart of Dublin’s Liberties.  This club, - one of about 170 set up throughout Ireland - opened in 1909 and aimed to educate mothers in the overall care of their infants by holding classes and appropriate lecture series on the premises.

(St Monica's Baby Club)

St. Monica’s Babies Club had been established by the Women’s National Health Association (WHNA).  This group was set up in Ireland in 1907 as part of the Irish International Exhibition, by Lady Aberdeen, wife of the Lord-Lieutenant who had a life-long interest in social and healthcare issues.  The WNHA focused on finding ways to eradicate tuberculosis within the general population, - a primary cause of early deaths in the adult population - by coordinating pasteurised milk distribution, and opening a range of healthcare centres with the support of government.  It also tried to address the social conditions and issues surrounding the extremely high infant mortality rates that existed in Ireland at the time.

Catherine Scuffil, Historian in Residence, Dublin South Central.
Dublin City Council Historians in Residence are available to meet groups and schools, give talks, walks etc, run history book clubs and advise on historical research.

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