Children's health rehabilitation at Crimean resorts was launched by the royal family when Crown Prince Alexei was treated for haemophilia with Saki mud. His condition improved after this treatment and a railway was laid to Yevpatoria using public funds.
Since then Yevpatoria has become the biggest family resort in Crimea. It has a research institute studying children's spa treatments, physiotherapy and medical rehabilitation, which has been developing methods for restoring health with natural treatments for 40 years.
Medical statistics show that the past several decades have seen a progressive deterioration in children's health. Indicatively, apart from an increase in the incidence of illnesses, the number of children with chronic disorders that lead to permanent disability is on the rise.
Spa treatment makes it possible to prevent the aggravation of an illness. As distinct from medical procedures and medications, treatment at health resorts has no side effects or complications provided it is monitored by specialists. On the contrary, children become generally healthier, their immune system grows stronger, metabolism is normalised and the appetite improves. A course of treatment at a health resort even affects their performance at school: the number of absences due to health reasons is reduced and the marks in different subjects increase by one point on the average.
At present, Crimea has 19 health resorts that specialise in different treatments for children and parents with children. They are located in Crimea's three main spa zones: western (Yevpatoria and Saki), eastern (Feodosia and Kerch) and the southern coast (Greater Yalta and Alushta). This is determined by the presence of certain medicinal factors that are indicated for treating different disorders. For example, children with cerebral palsy, disorders of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems, as well as skin diseases are treated in the western area, where the majority of children's health resorts are located.
Gastrointestinal tract diseases are treated by mineral water at health resorts of eastern Crimea. The mixture of mountain, steppe and sea air creates excellent conditions for treating bronchial asthma.
The southern coast of Crimea is good for treating lung diseases. Climate treatment for children with bone TB is practiced at the Bobrov health resort in Alupka. One of the city streets bears the name of doctor Pyotr Izergin, who treated the daughter of Kornei Chukovsky, a classic of children's literature and the author of the "Buzzy-Wuzzy Busy Fly," "Moydodyr" (Wash ‘til Holes), and "The Giant Roach." In fact, "the kind Doctor Izergin" may have been the inspiration for Aybolit.
While evaluating the results of resort treatment, specialists note that a complete cure of a disease is not necessarily the main aim of medical rehabilitation. The main goal is to improve the quality of life as much as possible even if the cure is impossible.