§ Dr. Peters
asked the Minister of Health whether he can now make a statement regarding the effectiveness of immunisation in diphtheria cases or whether he considers this method should be dropped, having regard to some 53,000 cases being reported in 1916, with no immunisation and fewer public health services and just over 50,000 cases being reported in the third year of the present war, when approximately one-third of the children had been immunised.
§ Mr. Willink
Yes, Sir. The number of notified cases of diphtheria fell from about 1993W 50,000 in 1941 to 34,000 in 1943, and the number of deaths from 2,641 to 1,370. The 1943 figures are in both respects the lowest ever recorded. By the end of last year about half of the child population was immunised. It is estimated that in two years, 1942–43, about 5 out of 6 of the children notified as suffering from diphtheria, and about 29 out of 30 of those who died from it, were not immunised.