Epidemiology as a medical branch and science has a long tradition in Croatia. The roots of today’s CIPH go back to 1893, when the Royal National Institute for the Production of Animal Vaccine against Smallpox was founded in Zagreb. Later, in 1923, the Epidemiological Institute was founded as the successor of the Royal National Institute, which, after several reformations, gave rise to what is today the Croatian Institute of Public Health. Epidemiology, as a special medical profession, was created in the early thirties as a branch of bacteriology at that time.
In 1930, the first independent Epidemiology Unit was established under the Bacteriology and Epidemiology Department of the Central Hygiene Institute (CIPH, today). This unit gradually developed and expanded, including the epidemiology of (non-)communicable diseases, and, by the end of the 20th century, became the central national professional, methodological and operative service for epidemiology. Today, the Epidemiology Division is the Reference Centre for Epidemiology of the Republic of Croatia Ministry of Health.
The tasks and scope of work of epidemiology is monitoring, study, prevention and suppression of human diseases, i.e. the incidence and prevalence of diseases, the natural laws of their origin (aetiology), their preservation in or extinction from the human population, with the aim of planned impact on the reduction of the prevalence of diseases or even their complete eradication through preventive measures before they break out and suppression is needed; or direct intervention, in case they do break out, in order to reduce the number of victims as much as possible.
The Division is the national contact for international cooperation through the International Health Regulations (IHR), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Commission’s Early Warning and Response System (EWRS).
The editor-in-chief of the Division’s web-site is the head of the Division for Epidemiology of Communicable Diseases (Bernard Kaić), while the Editorial Board consists of the heads of subordinate departments (Tatjana Nemeth Blažić, Vesna Višekruna Vučina, Iva Pem-Novosel, Goranka Petrović, Sanja Kurečić Filipović, Zvjezdana Lovrić and Aleksandar Šimunović) and chief engineer Martina Zajec.
Topics for publication are chosen from the actualities of the epidemiological situation in the country, the need to inform the population and the professional community about public health events in Croatia and the world, as well as numerous inquiries made daily to the Division, as part of their scope of activities.
The published texts are intended for healthcare professionals as well as the general public.