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

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Stepney 1938

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Stepney]

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Whooping Cough.—102 cases were notified. The number of deaths was
13, or 1 less than in the previous year. All of these occurred in children under
5 years of age (7 of them under 1 year). The death rate was .06 per 1,000 of
the population.
Diarrhoea.—There were 46 deaths, 2 less than in the previous year.
41 of these deaths, or 89 per cent., were in children under 1 year of age.
The death rate was .22 per 1,000 of the population.
Heart Disease.—There were 705 deaths from Heart disease (379 males
and 326 females) or 79 less than in the previous year. The death-rate for
the whole Borough was 3.5 per 1,000 of the population.
Diseases of the Respiratory Organs.—The number of deaths from diseases
of the Respiratory Organs (excluding Tuberculosis) was 241 or 21 less than
in the previous year. The death-rate for the whole Borough was 1.2 per
1,000 of the population.
Scabies.—The arrangements with Bethnal Green Borough Council for
the treatment of adults and with the London County Council for the
treatment of children under school age were continued. During the year
174 adults were sent to Bethnal Green and 435 children were treated at the
L.C.C. Bathing Station.
Cleansing and Disinfection.—-182 persons were cleansed during the year
and had their clothing disinfected. All were adults and they were cleansed
because of vermin.
3,106 premises were fumigated and the bedding, etc., removed and disinfected
by steam. Of these, 1,587 rooms were fumigated because of infectious
disease, 150 as a result of pulmonary tuberculosis, and 1,369 because they
were verminous. In addition to these, scabies occurred in 1,388 families and
the bedding was taken away and disinfected by steam.
The disinfection of second-hand clothing, prior to export to South Africa
and the supervision of the packing of the goods was carried out as in previous
years. The number of such articles dealt with this year reached 55,852.
The total number of articles disinfected for all purposes was 79,818.
Bug Eradication.—The furniture and effects of 113 families were treated
in the H.C.N. Fumigation Chamber, before being rehoused : of this number
8 were done for the Stepney Housing Trust, thus leaving a total of 105 for
families rehoused in Council Flats.
1,408 inspections were made to 952 flats during the year and of this
number 309 were found verminous, and suitable steps taken for the eradication
of vermin either by means of fumigation or spraying with insecticide. This
shows a definite improvement of 32.45 per cent, as'against 43.78 per cent,
for 1937.

The following table gives the sum Chamber :

mary of work done at the Disinfestation

Inspections etc., by the Specialist Inspectors.fMr. E. J. Edwards, Jan-Sept. Mr. H. J. Green, Oct.-Dec.*Miss Whitty.
No. inspections for vermin4061,273
No. found verminous ...219484
No. miscellaneous visits809511
No. revisits193138

* Miss Whitty also has charge of Women's Common Lodging Houses and
Infant Life Protection investigations; returns of these inspections are to
be found under their appropriate headings.