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

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Greenwich 1948

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

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consider as to whether such houses can be repaired at a reasonable
cost having regard to the value of the premises, or whether Closing
and Demolition Orders should be made.
Disinfestation Scheme—Anti-Fly And Anti-Mosquito
Measures.—The Anti-Fly and Mosquito Scheme commenced on
1st April and continued throughout the summer until the end of
September. By arrangement with the Borough Engineer a quantity
of "Gammexane" powder was carried in each Refuse Collecting
Van. The dustmen were instructed to sprinkle the powder in the
dustbins after emptying and sprinkler top tins were supplied for the
purpose. In addition, the vans were sprayed with D.D.T. in
kerosene, this work being carried out at the Council's Depots.
The scheme generally proved very successful.
Pig-bins were lightly dusted with "Gammexane" and the
bins were collected and returned to the Council's Depot for thorough
cleansing with boiling water once every six weeks.
The dust-shutes in the numerous blocks of flats in the Borough
have all received fortnightly treatments of D.D.T., this work being
carried out as soon as practicable after dust collection. This was
most effective, only two complaints of fly maggots being received
during the season.
In addition, our men were at all times searching for new
sources of fly breeding, and with commendable attention to detail
during their travels have treated collections of dog droppings,
horse droppings and food scraps thrown on the streets and open
sites, preventing small infestations occurring.
The nuisance arising from the collecting of barges loaded with
house-refuse, off the foreshore at Blackwall Point, was very slight,
possibly due to initial treatment being given by those Authorities
using this method of disposal.
Food shops, cafes and fish shops were particularly difficult to
deal with and great care had to be taken when using either D.D.T.
or "Gammexane". These premises were generally treated
externally with good results.
Mosquito and fly breeding in static water tanks, etc., was
effectively controlled by spraying with D.D.T., or dusting with
"Gammexane" Sawdust bombs "soaked with "Malariol"
have been found useful in cases not readily accessible for routine
treatment. Many difficulties and objectionable conditions were
met and overcome with commendable ingenuity.
During August and again in September requests for advice
concerning insects were received from Building Contractors erecting

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