The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission for the Eradication of Hookworm (RSC) made the first comprehensive attempt to combat hookworm in the southern US. It also established a model for future public health work throughout the nation by institutionalizing services at the state and local level. Hookworm disease was a huge problem in the south, and yet it was readily treatable with a few simple measures. Hence it was an ideal test case for outreach and education in the opening years of the twentieth century.

Watch: Unhooking the Hookworm, 1920


Medicine & Public Health

Public Health: How the Fight Against Hookworm Helped Build a System

A hundred years ago, hookworm disease was an epidemic across the US South. Northern philanthropy tried to help.