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

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Stoke Newington 1910

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Stoke Newington, The Metropolitan Borough]

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53
by the home visiting, and, of the total cases on the register, nearly 500
are children.
The poor consumptive, who has commonly to occupy a stuffy,
crowded room, is placed under the worst possible circumstances for
the improvement' of his condition. If he could be induced, at some
personal sacrifice of comfort perhaps, to avail himself of conditions
which will ensure purer air at night time, he would greatly benefit.
It has been suggested that huts might be erected in the backyards of
the dwellings of some of these poorer patients, and the suggestion is ,
a good one where the yards are large enough; but a better suggestion
is to obtain two or more fair-sized houses with Large open spaces at
the rear, so that huts may be erected on these areas to supplement
the rooms, which would also be adapted for open-air treatment. Huts
or shelters can be very economically constructed in wood and canvas,
and, as Dr. Lister has shown, occupied with great benefit to the
sufferer. Such huts and rooms on suitable premises could be used
for sleeping purposes at night, while the consumptive individual, in
an early stage of the disease, is attending his work during the day.
One of the rooms could be made a common reading-room, and the
occupants would be under the treatment of their own medical man,
club doctor, etc. The breadwinners cannot be induced to leave their
work and go into sanatoria so long as they are physically capable of
continuing their work, and the above suggestion, by enabling them
to keep at work, affords a solution of what has hitherto been a very
difficult problem in dealing with the poorer consumptives. The
expenses of such a scheme would have to be met by voluntary contributions,
and as public opinion has been roused to the necessity
of dealing with this White Scourge, there is every reason to believe
that suitable efforts to raise the necessary money would meet with
success. The suggestion has been carried out with success in New
York. I need hardly add that the sleeping-house would most profitably
be linked up with a Tuberculosis Dispensary and managed by
the same Committee.
Doubtless at the Tuberculosis Dispensary, Tuberculin, which
is quite harmless if properly employed, would be judiciously used for


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