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Mr Benjamin Sugden on " Vivisection."

The Carnarvonshire Joint Sanitary…


The Carnarvonshire Joint Sanitary Authority. EXTRACTS FROM DR. FRAZER'S REPORT. The annual report, by the Medical Officer ot Health (Dr. Frazer), to the Carnarvonshire Joint Sanitary Authority, is an interesting and instruc- tive document, and from it we make several t'xtracts It has been attempted by means of the Housing of the Working Classes Act, to deal with some of the old and insanitary property of which there is a considerable amount in the older towns and villages in North Wales. Even in some of the sea-side resorts, the want of sanitary and suitable dwellings for a working-man's family at a moder- ate rental is very great. In my opinion the sanitary authorities in many instances would be conferring a real boon upon the districts under its charge by making use of its powers conferred by Part III. of the above Act, which enables lodging-houses for the working classes, which term includes separate houses or cottages, to be provided by local authorities who shall exercise the general management, regulation, and control of such houses. Prominent attention is called to the valuable provisions of this Act, because ex- perience is more and more convincing that much improvement in the public health cannot be ex- pected, unless the environment of the working classes is made more sanitary than is the case in many instances at present. How is this to be accomplished ? The poorest classes, who need improved surroundings most, cannot help them- selves. It will not pay the house-owners to do so. It would, therefore, seem that the only remedy is for the local authorities to take up the question, and provide better house accommodation. Not until better house accommodation can be offered to displaced families would it be advisable to compulsorily close houses as unfit for habitation, otherwise the danger is that people will move out of bad houses into worse. Section 67 of this Act is worthy of notice, from which it appears that the Public Works Loan Commissioners may ad- vance funds on loan to any company, society, or association established for the purpose of con- structing, or improving, or of facilitating, or encouraging- the construction or improvement of dwellings for the working classes." Concerning the Colwyn Bay and Colwyn Urban District, Dr. Frazer reports:—" Population, census 1881, 2418; do, 1891,4754; doestimated April, 1894, 5455. During the half year, 69 births were re- gistered, or at the annual rate of 25.2 per 1000 of population. During the first half of the year 1893 the births were at the rate of 22.6 per 1000. There were registered from all causes, 34 deaths, being at the annual rate of 12.4 per 1000 of population. Of these, seven were of persons stated to be non-residents. The remaining 27 deaths were at the annual rate of 9.8 per 1000 of population. There was only one death due to a zymotic cause, viz., one caused by whooping-cough. This gives a zymotic mortality of 0.36 per 1000 of population. The zymotic mortality during the first half of last year was at the rate of 0.74 per 1000. Among infants under one year of age, there were seven deaths, or at the rate of 101 per 1000 registered births. The infantile mortality during the first half of last year was at the rate of 196 per 1000 registered births. Deaths of persons aged 65 and upwards :—Among persons of this class there were six deaths, or at an annual rate of 2.1 per 1000 of population. From phthisis there were seven deaths, or at the annual rate of 2.5 per 1000 of population. Among residents proper there were three deaths, or at an annual rate of i. i per 1000 of population. The chief respiratory diseases were the cause of seven deaths, or at the rate of 2.5 per 1000 of population. Ot these, one death was that of a visitor. The remaining six deaths were at the annual rate of 2.2 per 1000 of population. Improvements have been effected in connection with the water supply at the reservoir with good result. The sanitary authority have, during the half year, commenced carrying out another sanitary improvement in that they are themselves undertaking the scaveng- ing of the district. Experience shows that it is useless to trust or expect householders to deal with the important duty of removing the house refuse, and the only satisfactory way is for the local authority to undertake the duty. For urban districts, the most satisfactory method of clearing house refuse is to store it in covered iron bins, which; at least once a week, are emptied, and the contents removed by local authority's staff. Regular scavenging is beyond doubt one of the most important means of maintaining a district in a cleanly state." Among other statements relating to Conway, Dr Frazer reports that in common with many of the older towns of North Wales there is there A considerable amount of crowding of houses upon area, which is due to a great extent to the town proper having been in the past confined within the old town walls. This crowding upon area is to be deplored upon sanitary grounds. The deficiency of sunlight, the obstruction to the free movement of air, and the smallness of cubic space in rooms, which are inseparable from this crowding of houses, have been found, as might be expected, to raise the amount of illness and death above the average. The common lodging-houses are kept under strict supervision, and are now in much better order than formerly. Something useful can be read between the lines" of the report on Penmaenmawr t1 important feature in the sanitary history of the sis months has been the addition to the previous supply of water of a new supply from the Afon Gyrach-a mountain stream at a high elevation- This water, which comes off a large gathering ground, above all possible means of contamination) is very pure and abundant in amount, the gaugings for a long time back showing an average yield of 380,000 gallons in the 24 hours. The supply which is now available will be probably sufficient for the needs of Penmaenmawr for the next generation. On account of the abundance of water, the sewerage system can be frequently flushed without any stint, and in consequence 0'1 all occasions examined, the sewers have been found remarkably clean." The vital statistics of Colwyn Bay compare favourably even with those of Llandudno (good though these latter are), the statistics for Llarl: dudno being as follow Population, censtl 1881, 4839; population, census 1891, 7348; popu'a' tion, estimated April, 1894, 8110. During the half-year, 96 births were registered, or at tile annual rate of 23.6 per 1000 of population. During the first half-year of 1893, the births wereat the rate of 24.2 per 1000. There were registered from causes, 76 deaths, or at the annual rate of is., per 1000 of the population. Of these deaths, 14- were of persons stated to be non-residents. The remaining 62 deaths were at the annual rate Of 15.2 per 1000 of population. Among infants und0 one year of age, there were 14 deaths, or in tb proportion ot 145 per 1000 registered bii'ths* During the first half of 1893, the infantile mortality was in the proportion of 52 deaths per 10 registered births. Death-rate among person aged 65 and upwards: -Among persons in tbi class there were 14 deaths, or taking deaths 0 residents alone, 1 if These were at the annl1 5 rate of 2.7 per 1000 of population. Phthisis the cause of death of ten residents, being at tj1 annual rate of 2.4 per 1000 of population. It three deaths from phthisis among visitors added, this gives a death-rate from phthisis of 3" per 1000 of population. The chief respiratoi*/ diseases were the cause of death of nine reside11 and one visitor. This was at the annual rateue 2.4 per 1000 of population, or if the death of' visitor be deducted, at the annual rate of 2.1 P 1000 of population." (For continuation of News, see Illustrated Supplement).