HC Deb 19 March 1928 vol 215 cc22-3
14. Sir J. POWER

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether in recent years there has been any general decrease in the infantile mortality in the colonies, protectorates, and mandated territories in Africa; and whether any special efforts are being made to deal with the problem of infant mortality in other countries?


It is exceedingly difficult as yet to obtain reliable returns of births and deaths among the populations of tropical Africa but in areas from which the returns may be regarded as fairly accurate, as in the Buganda Kingdom of the Uganda Protectorate and in certain West African towns, there is evidence of slow improvement in the infantile mortality rate. In most areas, however, the rate remains regrettably high.

As I informed my hon. Friend, the Member for Reading, in reply to a similar question on 21st March last year, the Governments of tropical Colonies are fully alive to the importance of this matter. Infant welfare clinics are being established and women doctors, nurses and health visitors appointed for special duty; the work of these officers, notably in Malaya, the Gold Coast and Sierra Leone, has been of a high order. In this connection I would specially mention the work of voluntary agencies such as the Child Welfare League of Kenya and the Child Welfare Society in Singapore, and the efforts which have been made in the West Indian Colonies to deal with this problem.