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Nursing professionalization and public health in 1940s and 1950s Argentina

Authored by: Jonathan Hagood

Routledge Handbook on the Global History of Nursing

Print publication date:  May  2013
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415594271
eBook ISBN: 9780203488515
Adobe ISBN: 9781135049751


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On 26 July 1952, Eva Perón, the wife of the president of Argentina, passed away after a protracted battle with uterine cancer. Perón was affectionately known as “Evita” by the millions of primarily poor and working class people to whom she had been the public face of the Perón administration and of Peronism, its populist political program. Just months before, on May 7, the Argentine Congress had named her the “Spiritual Leader of the Nation,”a title no one else would ever hold. Perón was joined in her final days by María Eugenia Álvarez, her personal nurse and the director of the School of Nursing operated by the Fundación Eva Perón (FEP), the charity organization created by Perón to implement social welfare programs that included the distribution of food, clothes, and medicine as well as the construction of homes, schools, and medical facilities.

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