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

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Wandsworth 1969

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Wandsworth, Metropolitan Borough]

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Rubella (German measles). At a secondary school in Wandsworth,
nearly 350 girls were given an injection of rubella vaccine.
The injections formed part of a survey for testing the efficacy of the
vaccine in the prevention of rubella in later life. (In the case of a
woman in the first four months of pregnancy, an attack of rubella
may cause abnormalities in the unborn child). The results were
gauged by clinical and blood tests, but the final assessment of the
trial is awaited. I would like to thank the Headmistress of the
school and the parents of the pupils for permission to conduct the
Health education in schools
Our attempts to recruit a suitably-qualified Health Education
Officer during the year again proved abortive and this has undoubtedly
restricted the amount of specialised work which could be
achieved in this field. This essential work of health teaching has
therefore been borne, most ably I would add, by the health visitors,
school nurses, and other field staff as an integral part of their
daily work. This can take the form of private consultations with
parents or children, in group discussions in centres and schools,
or in the more formal atmosphere of the planned talk on a specific
Much of the teaching on health subjects is directed towards
individual children on subjects such as dental hygiene, care of
the hair and feet, etc., but during the year more formal teaching
was undertaken at four schools. At one senior school for girls,
the Sixth-Formers attended a series of talks by their own teachers
and others on the subject of "Marriage" and the health visitor
gave talks on "Pregnancy" and "The Child". Talks were also
given at a College of Education on "The Social Aspects of
Disease" by a health visitor who also took part in a discussion
following the showing of a new film on "Childbirth".
A symposium on health education, arranged by the Divisional
Officer, Mr. H. A. Kingdom, was held at Wandsworth Technical
College on 11th March. 1969. The meeting was attended by headmasters,
headmistresses and senior teachers of Wandsworth schools,
doctors, health visitors and social workers. Speakers included
hospital consultants, a staff inspector of the Inner London Education
Authority and senior officers of the Health Department. The
drug problem, sex education, venereal disease, smoking and
dental hygiene were among the subjects for discussion. The symposium
proved to be of considerable value in the development of
health education techniques in schools.
The health education team employed by the Inner London
Education Authority have again given their valuable services in
Wandsworth and have visited a number of schools in the area by
direct arrangement with the Heads of Schools. The team have also
organised health education publicity in the Greater London Council

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