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

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Walthamstow 1903

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]

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tina, 23, and the question arises what further action might be taken to
prevent this wastage of child life. Over £5,000 a year is spent on
Scarlatina and Diphtheria prevention, while practically nothing is spent
on the prevention of these diseases, causing four times the mortality.
In many towns less populous, a lady Health Visitor has been
appointed, who devotes her time to visiting the homes of the poorer
people giving advice on cleanliness, personal hygiene, ventilation of the
house, together with the care and feeding of the infants.
In this district such a person could well be employed.
When Measles or Whooping Cough was threatening to be epidemic
she could visit and give simple instructions as to isolation and the
prevention of spreading, and upon the dangerous nature of these diseases
in the very young.
Meetings of mothers might be held and plain addresses given on the
above subjects, and especially infant feeding and the prevention of
Diarrhceal mortality.
Further useful work might be accomplished in visits to the many
workshops and laundries in the district where female labour is mainly
Visits might also be made to the girls' and infants' schools under the
Council, and a higher standard of general sanitary conditions aimed at.

The deaths from Measles and Whooping Cough since 1889 were as follows:—

Whooping Cough54163234251537
Whooping Cough21243354262334
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The following figures supplied by Mr. Jones, the School Attendance
Superintendent, show the number of children away from school during
the year from these alleged causes:—

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