§ 73. Mr. Sorensen
asked the Minister of Health what research he is undertaking on the effect of german measles on pregnant women; to what extent the incidence of blindness and deafness among babies due to their mothers having suffered from german measles during pregnancy has increased in recent years; if immunisation against this disease is being recommended; and what provision is being made for the assistance of infants affected by blindness and deafness.
§ Mr. Braine
A report of a special inquiry was published in 1960; I am sending the hon. Member a copy. There was an increase of 25 in 1963 as compared with 1962 in the number of new registrations of blind children under five; the reasons for this are not known but inquiries are in progress. I have no comparable figures for deafness. I am advised that it is not at present practicable to protect against this disease by vaccination. A wide range of local authority and voluntary services is available.