London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Deptford 1913

Annual report on the health of the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford

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Householders should assist in this endeavour by keeping their dustbins
covered, and their yards clean and free from collections of decaying
animal or vegetable matter, or other dirt.
Manufacturers and builders, etc., should be urged not to keep on
their premises any collections of waste materials of an organic character,
but to get them taken away at least once a week and destroyed. If
this cannot be done, they should be treated with either of the insecticide
preparations above-mentioned.
Street refuse from the point of view of preventing the breeding of
flies, should be collected at least once a week, and should not be stored
within the Borough, or within a mile of the same, unless it is treated
with an in insecticide preparation. This is especially important if the
sweepings are collections of manure.
Precautions for the home. These may be summed up in the three
measures: (l) cleanliness; (2) protection of food supplies: (3) use of
household fly killers.
1. The dirtier premises are, the more they are affected with flies.
This applies also to the person, so that the cleaner the house and
contents are, the less attractive they become to flies.
2. Food is, of course, the great attraction, so this, when not
being used, should be kept covered. Odd pieces of food should not
be left uncovered unnecessarily; but if useless, should be burnt, or
if this is impracticable placed in the dust-bin.
3. The exposure in suitable places in rooms, infested with flies,
of fly-killers has been found to diminish them considerably. Lately
the following recipe for a fly-killer has been found very effective:—
One ounce of 40 per cent, formalin mixed with one pint of milk.
This should be placed in shallow plates about the rooms, with a
piece of bread in the middle of each plate for the flies to alight upon.


1913.Average for Previous 10 years.
Number of Deaths5054
Death rate per 1,000, Deptford0.450.47

The number of cases of Measles dealt with during the year was 497, as compared with the previous four years as follows:—