§ 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.