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Photographs supplied by Susan Davenport

The portrait bust commemorates Ignaz Semmelweis (1818 - 1865), a German-Hungarian physician who discovered the cause of puerperal (childbed) fever and introduced antisepsis into medical practice.

Educated at the universities of Pest and Vienna, Semmelweis received his doctor’s degree from Vienna in 1844 and was appointed assistant at the obstetric clinic in Vienna. He soon became involved in the problem of puerperal infection, the scourge of maternity hospitals throughout Europe. Although most women delivered at home, those who had to seek hospitalization because of poverty, illegitimacy, or obstetrical complications faced mortality rates ranging as high as 25–30 percent.

Some thought that the infection was induced by overcrowding, poor ventilation, the onset of lactation, or miasma. Semmelweis proceeded to investigate its cause over the strong objections of his chief, who, like other continental physicians, had reconciled himself to the idea that the disease was unpreventable.


Address:Ginninderra Drive & Allawoona Street, Building 28, Univeristy of Canberra, Bruce, 2617
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.23486
Long: 149.08762
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Artist:Sándor Györfi


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2019
Front Inscription

1818 - 1865

Famous Hungarian doctor of medicine
The saviour of mothers

May this statue symbolise the triumph of dedication and science over denial and disbelief.


Left Side Inscription

Ignaz Semmelweis  the "Savior of Mothers" who discovered the cause of childbirth fever and introduced a reliable prevention to avoid it

Donated by the Hungarian State

Initiated by His Excellency Dr Istvan Mikola

Adam Gyorfi

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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