HC Deb 26 April 1955 vol 540 cc53-4W
Mrs. L. Jeger

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what information he has of the incidence of tuberculosis in Malaya; and what steps are being taken to combat and prevent this disease.

Mr. Hopkinson

pursuant to his reply [OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th March, 1955; Vol. 538, c. 48], supplied the following informationIncidence of tuberculosis in Malaya. No detailed survey on a sufficiently large and representative section of the population has been carried out, and an accurate guess is further hampered by the fact that many deaths are certified by non-medical persons and no clear indication can be obtained from the figures given as death from tuberculosis. Local surveys on specially selected groups have taken place and have disclosed an incidence of between five and six active cases of pulmonary tuberculosis per 1,000. It is, however, considered that if a survey were taken of all sections of the community, the figure would be somewhat higher.

Steps being taken to combat and prevent the disease. Mass B.C.G. schemes are being carried out and the numbers tuberculin tested have been—

in 1953 152,897
in 1954 109,129

and the numbers vaccinated with B.C.G.—

in 1953 83,514
in 1954 62,124

Out of a total of 12,763 hospital beds, 2,990, i.e., 23. 3 per cent. are devoted to the treatment of tuberculosis (this total excludes beds in special institutions for treatment of leprosy and mental diseases).

Medical records disclose that during 1954, 6,451 patients suffering from tuberculosis were admitted to hospital and 5,135 received treatment as out-patients. The usual methods of treatment given in hospital include rest and general measures such as good diet, chemotherapy, collapse therapy (artificial pneumo-thorax, pneumo-peritoneum and phrenic crush) and isolation in hospital of sputum positive cases. In suitable cases, chemotherapy is also given to out-patients, as is the continuation of collapse therapy. There is little major thoracic surgery at present.

The new Lady Templer Tuberculosis Hospital is expected to be opened this year and will provide further beds for treatment of cases that are likely to improve. It will also provide an opportunity for research work into this disease in Malaya.