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Excerpt of a Presidential Address by H. V. Drew, F.R.C.S. Annual Meeting of the New Zealand Branch, Timaru, 1912. Published in NZMJ 1912 March;11(41):1-8.We medical men all remember young people coming to the out-patients' department of the hospitals at home with early indications of tuberculosis. We have seen them return to work in unhealthy surroundings, and return to hospital again and again until they are no longer capable of continuing work, and then they came in—mostly to die.Since then great efforts have been made to cure phthisis; Koch's great discovery of the bacillus raised great hopes, which unfortunately, have not so far been realised, and vast efforts have been made to cure phthisis by sanatorium treatment, but mostly in vain, and although much good has been done it is altogether disproportionate to the labour and expenditure involved.And now I am coming to my point—it has been viewed by many others and it is this—that the children are the ones we must look to if we seriously hope to eradicate this disease. The children must be adequately fed and housed and their physical and mental requirements attended to. If this was properly done they would be in a condition to resist contracting the disease, and be far more capable of resisting it if attacked.In the older lands it is positively criminal the waste of child life, most of which is preventable.In the midst of vast wealth there are many thousands of children on the verge of starvation and I humbly venture to express the opinion that if some scheme is not evolved to deal with this travesty of civilisation, it will evolve one of its own, perhaps more comprehensive and radical than is required.Every one of these children should have three good plain meals a day, clean homes, and a month's holiday in the country every year, and I think it would pay the nation to do it.Really comprehensive efforts should be made to bring home to ignorant parents the value of' cleanliness, and general hygiene, and if members of religious bodies could be supplied with and induced to distribute, simple directions on hygiene, I think that great good would result.The point I wish to drive home is this—that in spite of the vast wealth of the nation—health which can only be preserved to people who are closely packed in cities, by the free and intelligent use of money, is lost, because the money is wasted when the disease is beyond cure. Even in this country one often meets children squinting badly, breathing badly, walking badly, talking badly, and looking sickly, with bleary eyes and running ears and noses, and who I ask is responsible for all this and much more?I ask, but it would he invidious in this company to give a precise answer; but I will say in general terms, imperfect medical supervision, which, however, I claim, is not altogether the fault of the medical profession, for as far as I am aware, there is at present no scheme for the medical inspection of children.The subject of preventive medicine is vast, and I have neither the time nor the capacity to deal with it.I have taken tuberculosis to illustrate my argument, as I said before because the public are fairly familiar with it—but the same reasoning applies universally in medicine. Prevention is better than cure—and early treatment is absolutely essential.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

For the PDF of this article,
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Excerpt of a Presidential Address by H. V. Drew, F.R.C.S. Annual Meeting of the New Zealand Branch, Timaru, 1912. Published in NZMJ 1912 March;11(41):1-8.We medical men all remember young people coming to the out-patients' department of the hospitals at home with early indications of tuberculosis. We have seen them return to work in unhealthy surroundings, and return to hospital again and again until they are no longer capable of continuing work, and then they came in—mostly to die.Since then great efforts have been made to cure phthisis; Koch's great discovery of the bacillus raised great hopes, which unfortunately, have not so far been realised, and vast efforts have been made to cure phthisis by sanatorium treatment, but mostly in vain, and although much good has been done it is altogether disproportionate to the labour and expenditure involved.And now I am coming to my point—it has been viewed by many others and it is this—that the children are the ones we must look to if we seriously hope to eradicate this disease. The children must be adequately fed and housed and their physical and mental requirements attended to. If this was properly done they would be in a condition to resist contracting the disease, and be far more capable of resisting it if attacked.In the older lands it is positively criminal the waste of child life, most of which is preventable.In the midst of vast wealth there are many thousands of children on the verge of starvation and I humbly venture to express the opinion that if some scheme is not evolved to deal with this travesty of civilisation, it will evolve one of its own, perhaps more comprehensive and radical than is required.Every one of these children should have three good plain meals a day, clean homes, and a month's holiday in the country every year, and I think it would pay the nation to do it.Really comprehensive efforts should be made to bring home to ignorant parents the value of' cleanliness, and general hygiene, and if members of religious bodies could be supplied with and induced to distribute, simple directions on hygiene, I think that great good would result.The point I wish to drive home is this—that in spite of the vast wealth of the nation—health which can only be preserved to people who are closely packed in cities, by the free and intelligent use of money, is lost, because the money is wasted when the disease is beyond cure. Even in this country one often meets children squinting badly, breathing badly, walking badly, talking badly, and looking sickly, with bleary eyes and running ears and noses, and who I ask is responsible for all this and much more?I ask, but it would he invidious in this company to give a precise answer; but I will say in general terms, imperfect medical supervision, which, however, I claim, is not altogether the fault of the medical profession, for as far as I am aware, there is at present no scheme for the medical inspection of children.The subject of preventive medicine is vast, and I have neither the time nor the capacity to deal with it.I have taken tuberculosis to illustrate my argument, as I said before because the public are fairly familiar with it—but the same reasoning applies universally in medicine. Prevention is better than cure—and early treatment is absolutely essential.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

Excerpt of a Presidential Address by H. V. Drew, F.R.C.S. Annual Meeting of the New Zealand Branch, Timaru, 1912. Published in NZMJ 1912 March;11(41):1-8.We medical men all remember young people coming to the out-patients' department of the hospitals at home with early indications of tuberculosis. We have seen them return to work in unhealthy surroundings, and return to hospital again and again until they are no longer capable of continuing work, and then they came in—mostly to die.Since then great efforts have been made to cure phthisis; Koch's great discovery of the bacillus raised great hopes, which unfortunately, have not so far been realised, and vast efforts have been made to cure phthisis by sanatorium treatment, but mostly in vain, and although much good has been done it is altogether disproportionate to the labour and expenditure involved.And now I am coming to my point—it has been viewed by many others and it is this—that the children are the ones we must look to if we seriously hope to eradicate this disease. The children must be adequately fed and housed and their physical and mental requirements attended to. If this was properly done they would be in a condition to resist contracting the disease, and be far more capable of resisting it if attacked.In the older lands it is positively criminal the waste of child life, most of which is preventable.In the midst of vast wealth there are many thousands of children on the verge of starvation and I humbly venture to express the opinion that if some scheme is not evolved to deal with this travesty of civilisation, it will evolve one of its own, perhaps more comprehensive and radical than is required.Every one of these children should have three good plain meals a day, clean homes, and a month's holiday in the country every year, and I think it would pay the nation to do it.Really comprehensive efforts should be made to bring home to ignorant parents the value of' cleanliness, and general hygiene, and if members of religious bodies could be supplied with and induced to distribute, simple directions on hygiene, I think that great good would result.The point I wish to drive home is this—that in spite of the vast wealth of the nation—health which can only be preserved to people who are closely packed in cities, by the free and intelligent use of money, is lost, because the money is wasted when the disease is beyond cure. Even in this country one often meets children squinting badly, breathing badly, walking badly, talking badly, and looking sickly, with bleary eyes and running ears and noses, and who I ask is responsible for all this and much more?I ask, but it would he invidious in this company to give a precise answer; but I will say in general terms, imperfect medical supervision, which, however, I claim, is not altogether the fault of the medical profession, for as far as I am aware, there is at present no scheme for the medical inspection of children.The subject of preventive medicine is vast, and I have neither the time nor the capacity to deal with it.I have taken tuberculosis to illustrate my argument, as I said before because the public are fairly familiar with it—but the same reasoning applies universally in medicine. Prevention is better than cure—and early treatment is absolutely essential.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

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