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

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Wimbledon 1909

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Wimbledon]

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occurs, about ten days after the receipt of the notification,
with an intimation that the Health Visitor will call if her services
are desired by the mother of the infant.
I have given full particulars of the scheme in order that
our methods may be thoroughly understood, but I would mention
that it was only adopted provisionally that if, after the
experience of six or twelve months' working, it was found
necessary to make alterations, that this should be considered.
In my report for 1908 I referred to the appalling amount
of preventable sickness and death in infant life throughout
the country, due to many causes, but principally to the ignorance
among women as to the feeding, clothing and managing
of infants, and it is here that the adoption of the Act should
prove its value to the community, for not only should it be the
means of decreasing the infantile mortality rate, but should
materially diminish the number of those infants whose lives
are permanently damaged through maternal ignorance and the
neglect of every law of hygiene.
By their kindly help and tactful dealing the members of
the Wimbledon Mothers' and Babies' Welcome Society are
carrying on a good and necessary work, the influence of which
can hardly be measured by immediate results, but which will
doubtless be reflected in the improved health and physique of
the rising generation.
In the earlier months of the year severe epidemics of
Whooping Cough and Measles occurred, principally in Trinity,
South Park and Dundonald Wards. Twelve deaths were
registered due to the former disease and ten to the latter.

The distribution through the Wards was as follows:—

Ward.Whooping Cough.Measles.
Cottenham Park11
South Park67
St. Mary's2

In order to check the spread of Measles, Mumps and Chicken-Pox, it was found advisable to close the following schools, for the periods shown:—

Trinity Infants'MeaslesFeb. 24th to March 10th
Effra Road Infants'Measles, Mumps and Chicken Pox.May 13th to June 1st and extented until June 19th
Qneen's Road Infants'DoMay 30th to June 5th and extended until June 19th
Dundonald Girls' and Infants'MeaslesJuly 1st to July 22nd