Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Monday 21 January 1929
Health Of West Riding.
Doctor J.R.Kaye, County Medical Officer for the West riding give the annual report for 1927
Vital statistics in the report show that the birthrate was 17.7 per 1,000 estimated population, compared with 19.4 in 1926. The death-rate from all causes was 12.6, against 11.6. The number of births was 26.330 (13,691 males and 13,139 females), the rate of 17.7 being the lowest yet recorded. The deaths totalled 19.181 (males 9,650 and females 9.531). Deaths from cancer wore 1,944 compared with an average for ten years from 1917 to 1926 of 1,687.
Reference is made to the epidemic of smallpox at Mexborough, Swinton, and Conisborough, and the report states:
The average rate of vaccination in this county does not reach 25 per cent. As long as this condition affairs lasts, smallpox will, like the poor, be always with us.”
Anxiety and trouble is being caused in South Yorkshire by the use of vans, disused buses, tramcars, and old railway carriages as permanent dwellings, without water supply, drainage, other convenience.
The County Medical Officer feels that there is a need for some special powers enabling local authorities to deal quickly with the cases.
Tuberculosis in Clubs.
Referring to tubercolosis, Dr. Kaye urges that co-operation with medical practitioners could be improved and there were many instances of delay (often fatal) in sending patients to the dispensary. Dr. Crowther (Barnsley) states that a source of infection and spread of tuberculosis is in working men’s dubs, where the air becomes thick and blue with tobacco smoke and the germs of tubercula influenza, and other infections. Ten members of the families of caretakers of four of the clubs became tubercular and four died rapidly from the disease, in spite of the decent home conditions. The strictest supervision of club promises was necessary; they should be clean and healthy and subject to periodic inspection.
In Doncaster the incidence of tuberculosis remains high (the report, continues). Owing to the poverty which exists in Mexborough the extra nourishment given by County Council has been of great help.
In Rotherham there has been no real recovery from the effects of the industrial dispute.”