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MEDICAL CONGRESS.

OPENING OF BUSINESS SESSIONS

ADDRESS BY DR. GILLIES

(Per Press Association.)

! AUCKLAND, February 10. At. the Medical Congress this momling Dr. Sinclair Gillies, president, of , the medical sections, read a most important paper on the advance made m medicine. He dwelt upon the discovery of what had been termed " ultra-microscopical" or " filterable viruses to whose action he put down rabies, yellow fever in man pleuro pneumonia, and foot and mouth disease in animal*. ; He enlarged upon the necessity of tackling consumption, and said that he feared that a satisfactory cure by anti-toxins had not so far been disco\'e*red. The time had arrived when steps should be taken to stamp out" syphilis like any other contagious disease. Care of Babies.

Dr. W. F. Lichfield, of Sydney, delivered an address under the section of diseases of children. Dr. Lichfield discussed briefly the question of babies? homes and foundling hospitals, dealing with the difficult subject of the care of babies born under sad circumstances. His remarks applied to institutions which admitted children under one year without their mothers. The results obtained in these infant asylums were unfformally bad. For instance, in the asylum at Randal's Island, New York, the^nortality was, in 1899, 90 per cent., and at the Naples Foundling Hospital, lout of 856 infants admitted, 853 died. | There was, abundant evidence from all I parts of the world, the speaker continued, to give conclusive support to his assertion. The high mortality was attributed to a state of weakness induced by a want of individual attention, and all that was implied by the word "mothering." In the report of the State, Cliildrens' Council of Adei laide it was stated that one societ^rediiced the 'mortality by placing out children in homes instead of. maintain-/ [ ing' them, in the institution. The children wave in the institution from 11896 to 1898, and the death rates were: 1896, 98 per cent.; 1897, 99 per cent.; 1898, 100 per cent. Placing them out began in 1899, and the mortality dronped to 56 per cent, immediately^ in 1900 to 31 ncr cent., in 1901 to 19 per cent., in 1902 to 11 per cent., and in 1904 to 10 per cent. The Health Deoartmpnts in most of the Australian States. Dr.'Lichfifild went on to say; had adopted a policy of boarding out infants, and had set their ffices a^ninst institutions for babies. Various philanthropic bodies, however, still pei'st'st^d in housing babies in asylums; Statistics compiled showed that the method was a bad one in: every resnect. Examination of Cadets.

Colonel It. B. Frasehi, in the course of his address in the naval and military section, referred to the recent introduction of the Australian Defence Act. and the examination and training of young cadets who were yearly drafted into the military. This, he said, had occupied the leisure time of the Australasian ' Army Medical Corps. Two burning questions pressing for attention were the exact proportion of fit able to enlist as trained, and to make a searching test of the soundness, strength, and virility of the rising generation. The second problem dealt with the possibility of having to send, an expeditionary force to their Northern Territory, which was sparsely inhabited and likely to be the point of invasion. A great number of unknown diseases probably lurked in the vast tropical region of the territory, said the doctor.

Colonel Pnrdy said that the organi--1 sation ' for the evacuation of the sick ".rid. wounded constituted the crux of the medical problem in war, and the system adopted formed the basis nf [the entire medical service in the field. Diseases of the Ear.

Dr. R. H.t Pullein, of Adelaide, de- ' livered an address in the eye, ear, and throat section. In the course of his I address he introduced two new methods of conservative treatment of chronic |suppurative ear disease. 'An excellent appliance for carrying out each of these procedures was shown and explained. The results quoted in the opinion of. his ' hearers, the value lof the methods recommended. 1 Health of School Children.

" The health of school children, with special reference to inspection and hygiene," was dealt with by the public health section, presided over by Dr. C. Savill Willis, principal medical officer to the Department of Public Instruction, New South Wales. In the" coui'se of an address on school closure and infectious diseases, the president drew attention to the progress that had been made in the direction of using the school as an aid in checking the spread of disease, and declared that the schools afforded an excellent opportunity for doctors to make investigation. Various sources of direct and indirect infection had been eliminated, and he contended that the closure of schools was now recognised in the majority of cases as | a most crude and unscientific way of dealing with outbreaks of disease. Sunlight and fresh air were the most reliable means of removing possible infection, aided by soap and water. Dr. Jane S. Greig, of Victoria, contributed a paper on the hygiene, of the children of fthe school, dealing; with the'practical and-personal aspect, and pointing out that the teachers could jissist materially ( in improving the. conditions by holding handkerchief _ and teeth drill, and insisting on cleanliness of clothing. . . A conference of representatives from Victoria, Queensland, West Australia, and New Zealand, with Dr. Willis as president, was held to consider matters affecting uniformity in, the inspection of the schools. The White Plague.

"■-, In the, section of'medicine, a brilliant address was ' delivered by - Dr.V Sinclair Gillies, who dealt in a general' way with the wonderful advance made in medicine, and particularly with bacteriology and preventive medicine of ordinary bacteria. - Two of the most interesting were those responsible. for enteric and tuberculosis. Enteric fever was now fast disappearing, thanks ;to the recognition of its bacteriological nature and mode of conveyance. Tuberculosis still bulked largely as a curse of civilised man. In Great Britain alone it accounted for one death in every* three between the ages of 20 and 45, and in' Australia some" 3700 persons died from it every year, therefore it was no wonder that people had been thoroughly aroused to its importance and need for its extermination. In England and. the United States the death-rate had been considerably reduced, the factors including improved general hygiene, improved housing,

improved standard of living, and regiilation of the sale and inspection of foodstuffs (especially milk), recognition or the necessity of fresh 'air and efficient ventilation by day and night, and regulation of occupation exposing to irritating dust and gases. Every advance in sanitation had had its share, but of Jate the attack had been more direct. Jno doctor dealt briefly with the modern sanitorium system of combating the disease. He argued that cases must be diagnosed and treated at a much earlier stage than was formerly taught. The stethoscope was yielding some of its priority in diagnosis to the thermometer, the weighing machine, the microscope, the X-rays, and the specific reaction of the tuberculin test. Dealing with the subject of specific immunisation. Dr. Gillies said that since Dr.-; Koch first brought tuberculin before the profession there had been preparations too numerous to mention, and they all had their advocates and detractors. Where tEere was a long list of drugs credited with the cure of any disease, it might be assumed in the first places that the disease frequently recurred, and in the second that none of the drugs was a satisfactory cure. So it. was, he feared, with tuberculosis. Fortunately the tendency had been towards recovery, but no bacterial preparation had so far'established its claim to cure. \ \Mental Disorders.

In the psychological, medicine, and neurology section, the presidential address ; of Dr. Chishoim Ross was read by Dr. Godfrey, of the Hospital for the Insane, Melbourne. ■'■ The address reviewed ,the progress made in the treatment of mental disorders during, the last 30 years. Dr. Ross contrasted the conditions when he started asylum workj in 1884, with the methods and appliances of the present day, illustrating the immense strides made in the matter of administration and treatment within that period. He laid emphasis on the value of efficient staffing,'and pointed out the great improvement that had taken place in mental hospitals in this respect. In the old days a home for the detention of the insane was an.asylum in the simplest acceptance of the term,! whereas mental hospitals were now 1 subdivided into numerous departments, a particularly important feature of, these institutions being the establishment of receiving houses for the observation of border-rime cases. The president, in summing up the situation, compared the work and study _on mental disorder in Australasia with, the methods m other countries,' and contended that the mental hospitals of > Australasia compared very favourably to-day with those of England and the' Continent of Europe. A psychological paper of deep interest to the profession was one read by Dr. Andrew Davidson on " The universal recognition by medical schools of neurology and mental disorders as a compulsory subject." The theme:was /dealt with along necessarily technical ! lines, but claims wide interest as illustrating the increasing hold which the psychological aspect, is obtaining among' iinen of medicine in their 1 combat with, [mental and nervous, disorders. • '

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19140211.2.3

Bibliographic details

MEDICAL CONGRESS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8791, 11 February 1914

Word Count
1,532

MEDICAL CONGRESS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8791, 11 February 1914

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