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

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Mile End 1875

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Hamlet of Mile End Old Town]

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52
These defects need not be detailed; they are sufficiently
impressed upon most occupiers of such houses by the
agency of rheumatism, bronchitis, influenza, and other
ailments, more often contracted within than without
the shelter of our abodes. The universal smoky chimney
and defective drain, play a not inconsiderable part
in the general rôle of domestic dangers to health. The
question of foundations for new houses has recently
attracted some attention, and has been brought under
the notice of the Government. Houses have been and
are built upon ground made up of decomposing refuse
and without the foundations being prepared with any
regard to sanitary conditions. I brought this question
before you some years since, and at that time corresponded
with the Metropolitan Board of Works upon
the subject, who promised to keep the matter in view
and to provide a remedy for the evil.
There are now six Board Schools in the Hamlet. In
reply to letters of enquiry as to the health of the pupils,
I have been favored with replies from three of the
School Principals, viz.:—
Essex Street School, with 1045 children, has an
average of twelve only absent through sickness, and
Mr. Gilbert states, very few have suffered from infectious
diseases during the year.
Baker Street School, with 390 children, Mr. Usherwood
states, the absent from sickness to be, boys four
per cent., girls 5, infants 9. Infectious diseases has
been very rare.
St. Paul's Road School, with 1075 children, Mr. E.
Johnson reports twenty-four absent through sickness,
and four sent away on account of infectious disease
being reported in their homes.
These appear to be exceedingly favourable returns,
showing an average sickness of less than 2.5 per cent.
among over 2,500 children and infants, at ages most

The following return, for which I am indebted to Mr. Legg, the District Surveyor, shows the number of dwellings and other buildings erected in the Hamlet during the past year:—

New houses210
Church1
Iron ditto1
Synagogue1
Theatre1
School Board School1
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