HC Deb 23 June 1948 vol 452 c1334
10. Dr. Stross

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what was the effect in Singapore of the Japanese occupation on the death rate due to phthisis and to tubercular meningitis; and what improvement has taken place since.

Mr. Creech Jones

My reply contains a number of figures and, with my hon. Friend's permission, I will circulate them in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Dr. Stross

Whilst thanking my right hon. Friend, may I ask him if he is aware that the essential difficulty there is the shortage of beds, and that in spite of the gallant fight by the Medical Director he is grossly handicapped inasmuch as he can only admit either moribund or very early cases into the sanatorium there?

Mr. Creech Jones

We will (pay attention to this problem, but there has been quite a considerable recovery in the last year.

Following is the reply:

The average number of deaths from pulmonary tuberculosis in the years 1939 to 1941 was 1,714. The figure for 1944 was 3,324 and for 1945 it was 2,764. I am glad to say that it fell to 1,468 in 1947. There are no reliable figures for tuberculosis meningitis but the great increase in deaths from infantile convulsions during the war is probably due in part to increased mortality from that disease. Four thousand, five hundred and seventy deaths from infantile convulsions were recorded in 1944 compared with an average of 1,793 per year before the war. Since the war there has been a great improvement and the 1947 figure was well below the prewar average.

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