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

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Willesden 1949

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Willesden]

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Ice Cream 9
Grade 1 2
Grade 2 3
Grade 3 4
Domestic Supplies, etc. 8
Satisfactory 5
Unsatisfactory 3
Swimming Pools 131
Satisfactory Ill
Unsatisfactory 20
Miscellaneous 156
Total 3,727

Uncleanliness and Scabies.

Cases treated at the Scabies and Lice Treatment Centre, Neasden Hospital.

No. of New Cases TreatedTotal No. of Attendances
For ScabiesFor Lice and NitsTotalFor ScabiesFor Lice and NitsTotal
Children under 5 years483078147*38185
Children, 5-14 years85282367402†297699
Adults:Men469551362 ‡91453

* † ‡ The numbers in this column include contacts, who on inspection showed no signs of infection,
but nevertheless received treatment. The numbers were*—8, †—13, and ‡—12, respectively.
Establishments for Massage and Special Treatment
The registration of establishments for massage and special treatment is delegated to the Borough Council
in accordance with Part XII of the Middlesex County Council Act, 1944, and the work of inspection of the
establishments is performed by the Council's sanitary inspectors.
During the year 1949, 20 premises were registered; 4 persons were granted a licence, 12 a renewal of a
licence, 1 received exemption under Section 363 of the Act, and 3 received licences in respect of the transfer
of their premises.
Health Education
One of the major weapons in the battle for health is knowledge. Ignorance of the fundamental facts
of hygiene and how to maintain adequate health standards plays a large part in the spread of disease and
Health education provides the Public Health Department with its most useful ally in the fight against
disease—an enlightened citizen.
The Public Health Department cannot succeed in conquering disease unless the public assists in
obtaining and maintaining satisfactory hygienic standards of living. The provision of ante-natal clinics, infant
welfare centres, the improvement of conditions in the schools, homes, food establishments and factories, are all
measures which directly or indirectly assist in the health education of the citizen. Lectures and film shows
are more direct methods of bringing health education to the public.
People who live and work in insanitary conditions find it difficult to apply the general rules of hygiene,
but much can be done in educating them to maintain reasonable hygienic standards even in their difficult
surroundings. The earlier health education is introduced in the life of the citizen, the more effective it becomes.
Lectures with visual aids, such as films, film-strips and illustrated charts, were continued throughout the year
in the secondary modern schools and in the parent clubs which are attached to all the day nurseries. In addition,
local organisations, including religious bodies, trade union branches, community centres, Rotary clubs and
British Legion branches, were approached by the Borough's Public Relations Officer, and meetings were
arranged where the Medical Officer of Health or his representative gave a health talk, often illustrated with a
film or film-strip. The following list of health talks has been sent to local organisations in Willesden:
1. " Housing and Health." A discussion of the requirements of a healthy home.
2. " Work and Health." A discussion of the effect of factory life on health.
3. " Are We Well-fed ? " A discussion on nutrition in home and canteen.
4. " Prevention is Better than Cure." A discussion of the modern advances in the control of
tuberculosis and diphtheria.
5. " Health Centres." A discussion on their purpose and provision.
6. " Accidents Will Happen." (i) A discussion of some important causes of accidents at work,
(ii) Alternative discussion of accidents in the home.
7. " The School Health Service." A discussion of its value to the community.
8. " The Care of Mothers and Children." A discussion on the work of the maternity and child
welfare clinics.
9. " Food Hygiene." A discussion on the prevention of food poisoning.
10. " Rehabilitation," A discussion on retraining the disabled for work.
11. " Captain of the Men of Death." A discussion on tuberculosis.
The most popular lectures chosen by the organisations were Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 5, and the least popular,
Nos. 7 and 8.
Nineteen lectures were given between the 3rd August, 1949, and 31st December, 1949.