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

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Greenwich 1937

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Greenwich Borough]

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Gifts of personal clothing were made to necessitous patients
as a result of the kindness of various friends of the Dispensary
Nursing Staff.
As in previous years much valuable help has been forthcoming
from the British Red Cross Society, Mayor's Fund, etc.
Extra Nourishment.—A working arrangement with the Public
Assistance Authorities exists whereby tuberculous patients receiving
Public Assistance are granted an extra allowance of nourishment
on receipt of a recommendation from the Tuberculosis Officer.
The amount granted is usually of the order of 7 pints of milk, 7
eggs and £ lb. of butter weekly.
For those patients not in receipt of Public Assistance, the scheme
commenced in 1936 under Article XII of the Tuberculosis Regulations,
1930, is continued and is much appreciated. Grants
similar to the above are made, but the scope of the scheme is limited
to patients awaiting admission to Sanatorium or are convalescing
after discharge and where a reasonable probability of eventual
return to work exists.
It should also be mentioned that where considered necessary,
contacts of school age are recommended for free milk, dinners and
cod liver oil and malt, to the School Medical Officer for consideration
by the School Care Committee.
DURING 1937.
Appended is a table giving a statistical analysis of 70 new cases
of confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis sent to the Dispensary and
examined by the Tuberculosis Officer in 1937. The number is
small and ill adapted to statistical treatment, but it is hoped that
as the figures are augmented year by year, reliable information
may emerge.
Incidence.—Note that this is small up to the age of 15 but that
it rises abruptly after this age particularly amongst females.
A table which was supplied by the Statistical Department of
the London County Council is also included for comparison. It
will be observed that whereas this shows a marked preponderance
of males, the Greenwich figures show an equal distribution of the
sexes. This may be explained by the large amount of female labour
which is employed in the factories in the borough.
Age groupings—In males, although the initial rise is less, the
incidence of tuberculosis is well maintained throughout the whole
of the working life, dropping abruptly after the retiring age.