1900-1920 Alarming situation

From the enlightenment of masses to scientific research

The Anti-Tuberculosis Association of Tampere, which appointed Anna Wikander as its secretary, was founded in 1912 by physicians living in Tampere. A pulmonary tuberculosis sanatorium was completed in 1915, the building of which was initiated by the association. Anna Wikander was also advocating a municipal hospital in Tampere, which came into being in Kangasala in 1931. Wikander died in 1938 and she bequeathed her estate to the Anti-Tuberculosis Association of Tampere.

In 1954 the Anti-Tuberculosis Association of Tampere relinquished all its property to the Tuberculosis Foundation of Tampere, which had been founded the same year to continue the heritage of the Anti-Tuberculosis Association of Tampere and to enhance scientific research. The aim of the Foundation was to support scientific research on and to prevent the spread of tuberculosis.

The focus of anti-tuberculosis programmes had started to shift from the enlightenment of population to scientific research in the 1950s. Tuberculosis was still a major problem. In 1952 it was reported that, besides Portugal, Finland had the highest mortality rate of tuberculosis in Europe, 150 cases of death per 100, 000 inhabitants.  Earlier the treatment focused on keeping patients alive and minimizing the spread of the infection, whereas now patients were cured with effective treatments and could return to their homes and to their work sooner than earlier.

The arrival of the 1960s brought new medications and Calmette vaccination had revolutionalized the treatment and management of tuberculosis. The rules of the foundation stated in the 1960s that scholarships are to be awarded for scientific research. Tuberculosis started to become less common as a cause of death. In the 1960s the hospitals had more and more post-middle aged patients who received treatment because of the tuberculosis related complications instead of the disease itself. Earlier most patients had been young people.