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HEALTH PROMOTION WOMAN DOCTOR'S COMMENT "The Government, could give a lead in health education by abolishing the unsuitable meals at railway refreshment rooms. Beautiful posters outside, costing £500 to produce, urge the public to eat nutritious foods; yet the meals inside consist to a great extent of pies, white bread and strong tea." This comment was made by Dr. Helen Deem, medical adviser to the Dominion Council of the Plunket Society, at the Auckland provincial conference, which was held to-day in the Milne and Cheyce reception room. Mrs. James Begg, Dominion president, presided. "Health insurance should be considered in conjunction with all postwar plans for national reconstruction," continued Dr. Deem. ""We boast that our mortality statistics are the lowest in the world, but the sickness costs presented in the report of the Director-General of Health dispel any grounds for complacency and present a case for action towards effective health promoting measures. The war has provided us with the opportunity of assessing the physical fitness of our young manhood, said the speaker when she displayed a chart depicting the reasons for rejection for active service amongst 105,000 men medically examined in 1942-43. In the 19 years age group 22 per cent of the men had been rejected, and it would certainly come as a surprise to most people to learn that, of those examined in the 42 years age group, i.e., men in the socalled prime of life, 53 per cent were found unfit for active service. Suggested Remedies Dr. Deem said that remedies for this "public ill-health" included an expansion of the Plunket Society's work among pre-school children. It was highly satisfactory that 80 per cent of the babies in New Zealand were under Plunket supervision, but of pre-school age children only 25 per cent came under supervision. Nurses required a better knowledge of this work, and it was hoped to send a nurse to Australia next February to take a special post-gradu-ate pre-school course at the Melbourne Kindergarten Training College. Dr. Deem stressed the importance of counter-acting various health defects in early childhood, in.order to prevent, or minimise, troubles in later years. Most people needed far more rest than they gave themselves and many tiny children did not receive enough sleep. - Finally, said the speaker, teaching by practical example was most important, and some country schools were performing a fine service by enabling their pupils under supervision to cook meals for the younger children. The growth of the Plunket Society, and the increase in the number of branches and sub-branches was commented on by Mrs. Begg. The provision of cars for nurses had enabled them to increase their activities, she said, and public interest in the society had grown. The Auckland president, Mrs. R. P. Towle, thanked provincial branches for their support of the Karitane Hospital. The following were elected to the Dominion Council:—Mrs. Towle, Mi's. N. E. Blomfield, president of the Hamilton branch, and Mrs. A. E. Harding, a member of the Dargaville committee.

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Bibliographic details

CASE FOR ACTION, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 188, 10 August 1945

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CASE FOR ACTION Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 188, 10 August 1945

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