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

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Deptford 1927

Annual report on the health of the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford

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At present there are thousands in the Borough who, through lack
of privacy, are disheartened and discouraged.
8. Prevention of Diphtheria. Hitherto our efforts to control
Diphtheria included an examination of contacts, swabbing where a
"carrier" was suspected, advice in cases where there was some
oro-nasal abnormality, the administration of local antiseptics, the
examination of cases after leaving hospital, etc.
On the 16th March we introduced the Schick Test and Inoculation
against Diphtheria. By the end of 1927, 647 persons, practically
all children, had come forward for the test and the inoculation where
necessary. A statement on the subject is given herein. No adverse
incident of any kind falls to be recorded. I am satisfied that the fall
in the incidence of Diphtheria is to some extent due to the inoculation:
we are not having so many "return" cases as formerly. Parents
have repeatedly expressed their thanks for this preventive work.
9. New Legislation. During the year the following Acts and
Regulations came into force:—
The London County Council (General Powers) Act, 1927,
Part VI of which gives power to destroy pigeons and doves, and to
enforce where practicable, natural lighting and, in all cases, artificial
lighting from sunset to 11 p.m., of staircases of tenement buildings
(other than houses-let-in-lodgings for which by-laws already exist).
The Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations give
additional powers in respect of "Carriers."
The Public Health (Preservatives in Food) Amendment Regulations,
1927 modify the previous Regulations as regards existing stocks
of ham and bacon.
The Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1926 came into force
on July 1st, 1927. Stillbirths became registrable.
10. It now only remains to be added that many interesting
articles will be found in the Report, written by Drs. Donnelly and
Hill, Miss Lewellin, Secretary of the Tuberculosis Care Committee,
and Inspector Yates, on Tuberculosis, Maternity and Child Welfare
work, Tuberculosis After-Care, and Rat Extermination, respectively.


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