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

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Walthamstow 1948

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]

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Good progress was made in the provision of houses,
especially for the aged.
1948—Yet another new low record in infant mortality was reached
at the very low rate of 20 infant deaths per thousand live
births on a total of 2,068 live births. This rate will probably
prove to be amongst the lowest rate in towns with a comparable
or greater population.
Stillbirths and deaths in the first month of life also gave
new low records.
By the end of the year nearly 80% of all children under
15 years of age had been protected against Diphtheria.
There was only one confirmed case of Diphtheria and no
The twenty years 1929/1948 afford a good opportunity to
compare the achievements of the Health Services in
Walthamstow over two decades. The first, i.e., 1929/1938,
was a decade of peace, whereas the second, 1939/1948, was
a decade including seven years of war, which was probably
as dangerous for the people remaining in Walthamstow as
for many who served on so-called 'active service.'

The following table makes some comparisons during this period:—

DecadeAverage annualAv. annualAverage annual deaths from:
Infant E/WMortality W'stowAv. Infant Deaths per annumDiphtheria NotificationsDiphtheriaWhooping CoughMeaslesDiarrhoea Under 2

On July 5th, 1948, the responsibility for most of the
personal "services was transferred to the Essex County
Council as the new 'Local' Health Authority.
The position—to some extent—is eased by the fact that
the services are administered by a Health Area SubCommittee
for the area comprised by the Borough.
Your Medical Officer of Health is the 'acting' Area
Medical Officer.