Slovene Female Scientists - Dr Amalija Šimec
Date of issue: 13.11.2020
Author: villa creativa, Josipa Ćevid
Motive: Slovene Female Scientists - Dr Amalija Šimec
Printed by: Agencija za komercijalnu djelatnost d.o.o., Zagreb, Croatia
Printing Process and Layout: 4-colour offset in sheetlets of 10 stamps
Paper: Tullis Russell Chancellor Litho PVA RMS GUM, 102 g/m2
Size: 29.82 x 42.28 mm
Perforation: Comb 14 : 14
Dr Amalija Šimec
Amalija Šimec was born in Tržič in Upper Carniola (the Gorenjska region of present-day Slovenia) on 30 October 1893. She studied medicine in Vienna but had to complete her studies in Prague after non-German students were prohibited from studying in Vienna. She graduated in 1920. During the First World War she worked as a doctor in military hospitals and at the time of the Carinthian plebiscite organised a temporary hospital in Schiefling am See near the Wörthersee. In 1921 and 1922 she undertook a specialisation in bacteriology and epidemiology in Vienna and then completed a course in haematology in Zagreb and Vienna as the first recipient of a Knafelj Scholarship. She researched Hirschfield’s bacillus (S. paratyphi C) and the virulence of Koch’s bacillus. Between 1922 and 1925 she headed the first bacteriological-epidemiological institution in Ljubljana and was the principal organiser of a major public information campaign aimed at combating typhoid.
After obtaining a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation she travelled to the USA and Canada in order to study the structure and functioning of public institutions. Following her return home she served as head of a school for nurses in Zagreb. In the 1930s she served as a school doctor in Ljubljana and from 1935 onwards headed the social medicine department at the Institute of Hygiene. It was in this period that she wrote the bestselling handbook Medical Tips for the Family and Home.
In the interwar period she was very active in Catholic women’s organisations, something that proved to be an obstacle to her advancement in the period following the Second World War. Eventually she took up a position as the head of the sanitary inspection department at the Ministry of Health.
In 1922 she was infected by germs of a pure typhoid culture while carrying out research. The infection caused permanent damage to her heart muscle, the consequences of which led to her death on 21 October 1960.