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

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West Ham 1946

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

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Various treatments were tried, and eventually Benzyl Benzoate emulsion was found most effective. From the peak year in 1942 there has been a progressive decline, as the following figures indicate:—

YearNumber of school children treated
1936216
1937254
1938359
1939305
19422,750
19431,900
19441,215
19451,033
1946766
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Owing to war-time disturbances, figures for 1940 and 1941
are not available. Further information is given on page 14.
ARTIFICIAL LIGHT TREATMENT. This form of treatment,
utilising the ultra-violet rays from mercury vapour lamps,
is given at the Children's Hospital, Balaam Street. As might be
expected, the numbers referred for treatment reach a maximum
in the winter months. New cases referred during the year
totalled 121, but, of these, 15 failed to achieve the regular attendances
which are so essential for success. Dr. Eva Morton, the
Physician in charge of the Light Clinic, gives the following
report dealing with the progress of the remaining 106 children: —
REPORT ON THE ARTIFICIAL LIGHT DEPT., 1946
By Dr. EVA MORTON, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P.
During the year 1946 there were .179 admissions, of whom
106 were 5 years of age and upwards. (The corresponding
numbers for 1945 were 140 and 61). Of these children of school
age, by far the larger number were referred to the department
on account of debility; cases of bronchitis and/or catarrh coming
second, especially during the winter months. Sub-acute
rheumatism accounted for 9 cases; anaemia, 5; asthma, usuallyassociated
with bronchial catarrh, 4; alopecia, 4; conjunctivitis,
2; cervical adenitis, 2; chorea, otitis media and psoriasis, 1 each.
RESULTS. All the cases of rheumatism who attended for
the full course were cured or greatly improved. Three of the
four asthma cases were greatly improved; one improved but did
not complete the course. Many of the children who were referred
on account of bronchitis or recurrent bronchial catarrh" have been
advised to apply through the school M.O. for a new prophylactic
course in the autumn. Of the four cases of alopecia, one was
greatly improved after 48 attendances, two improved after 49
and 28 attendances, and one, with 28 attendances, was very
irregular and refused general treatment. The only case of
psoriasis treated during the year was apparently cured after
73


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