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

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Tower Hamlets 1970

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Tower Hamlets, London Borough]

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Non-routine medical examinations
These examinations are carried out for various reasons e.g. prior to departure
on school journeys: for ascertainment of suitability for ordinary school; at the
request of the head teacher, school nurse, parent, medical officer, etc
cleansing of verminous schoolchildren
This year the number of treatments for 'vermin and nits' increased from 707
to 717, The schools principally affected are those with high ratios of immigrant
children on their rolls, some of whom move on before adequate treatment can be
completed Attendances for treatment of scabies at the bathing centres increased
from 201 last year to 398 in 1970 A combined approach with the co-operation of
local schools general practitioners and the borough cleansing station staff continued
during the year to ensure where possible that all known cases, and their family and
other contacts are given a complete course of treatment
Tests carried out in the Department of Entomology. London School of Hygiene and
Tropical Medicine, showed that head lice (taken from local children) bred in the
laboratory were resistant to D.D.T., Gamma B.H.C and Dieldrin. but ful1y susceptible to
Propoxur. Malathion and Carbaryl. In other laboratory tests colonies of lice were
selected for resistance over 44 generations with Malathion and no sign of resistance
Clinical trials with Malathion on infested children which took place in this borough
showed that no live lice remained on the head after 24 hours and the children
remained free of head lice for at least 3 months in an area where rapid reinfestation
would have been considered almost inevitable. An additional advantage is that unlike
the organochlorines which exhibit a limited ovicidal effect, Malathion is very toxic
to the eggs of lice.
A commercial product using Malathion was awaited at the end of the year
handicapped pupils
Every possible care is given to ensure that any child with a handicap which
might affect his or her educational attainment is kept under careful review and
consideration, whether he or she is in an ordinary school or special school, and a
register of all handicapped children is maintained to ensure no child is lost sight
of when he/she moves from school to school or borough to borough.

Tower Hamlets children placed in special schools are as follows:-

HandicapNo. atNo. at
Day SchoolsBoarding Schools
Partially sighted172
Partially hearing422