Medical activism

DR JOHN Snow led the way in 1854 when he demanded the removal of the handle from the Broad Street water pump in London.

In a period of 10 days almost 500 people had died from an outbreak of cholera that Dr Snow linked to sewage-contaminated water coming from the pump. Following an ‘interview’ with the Board of Guardians of the local parish, the pump handle was removed the following morning and mortality swiftly diminished.

Dr Snow is now widely regarded as the father of modern epidemiology and he could just as