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

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West Ham 1934

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for West Ham]

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The Senior Assistant Medical Officer (Dr. Helen Campbell)
Notification of Births.
The birth rate for 1934 was 15.6, being an increase of .1 compared
with the rate for 1933.
The total number of notified births was 5,783, of which
number there were 5,576 live births and 207 still births.
Births notified by doctors and parents 1065
Births notified by midwives 4718
Number of births in the Borough in the last five years (net
number of births of West Ham Residents):
1930 1931 1932 1933 1934
5606 5266 4980 4406 4470
Health Visiting.
The Council employs eighteen full-time Health Visitors who
undertake the routine home visiting of mothers and young
children: by arrangement between the Medical Officer of Health's
Department and the Committee of the Plaistow Maternity
Hospital the majority of those children, born in that hospital or
attended at birth by nurses from that Association, are visited
until 4 years of age by the nurses from that Association: at present
there are thirty-four such nurses employed in health visiting. In
addition home visiting is carried out in special cases attending
the Clinics by the Superintendent Nurses of the various voluntary
centres in the Borough.
There has been no alteration in the routine visiting of infants
and children up to school age: from birth until 2 years the child
is visited at least once a quarter, thereafter until it goes to school,
at intervals of six months. Premature and weakly infants are
visited monthly or more often according to the condition of the
child. In addition, the Municipal Health Visitors undertake all the
duties of Infant Life Protection Visitors under the Children and
Young Persons' Act, 1932. They also investigate all deaths of
infants and young children, stillbirths, and cases of puerperal
Pyrexia or fever, ophthalmia and pemphigus neonatorum.
Many visits are paid to the homes of expectant mothers, who
are thereby brought into touch with the several sources by which
they can obtain help, viz. antenatal supervision at Clinics, including
Dental treatment, Home Help Scheme, the provision of dried
milk at and after six months of pregnancy, hospital facilities for