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JUST A PENNY

TO BUILD A FUND TO FIGHT TUBERCULOSIS THE CHRISTMAS SEAL The British Ministry of Health lias forwarded to the Minister of Health (the Hon. J. A. Young) a report by Dr. H. J. If. Coutts on "Anti-Tubercu-losis Work in the United States, " in which a reference is made to tho wonderful success of the Christmas Seal in providing funds for the anti-tubercu-losis campaign. A few weeks before Christmas, persons wishing to help may place an extra stamp ov seal (representing one- penny) on their letters, tho revenue from which is devoted to the work of stamping out tuberculosis. About £1,000,000 was raised in this way in America last year. . It is estimated that some £10,000 could bo raised annually in New Zealand. The suggestion has been made that the Christmas Seal should bo made available here, and that a suitable object for a portion of such a fund would bo health camps (medically supervised) for delicate or under-nourished children. , "The anti-tuberculosis campaign in tho United States probably owes more to tho efforts of voluntary workers even than in England," writes Dr. Coutts.. "The organisation which, has been largely responsible for guiding and coordinating the efforts of voluntary and charitable institutions is the National Tuberculosis Association, which, is an extremely active and influential body. It has been successful in enlisting the assistance, as medical advisers, of some of the most prominent tuberculosis experts and hygienists in America, and in securing the co-operation of shrewd business men in the organisation of the work. "The association was founded in 1904, largely with a view to warding off the difficulties likely to be caused by tho ./springing up in 1903 of two rival bodies, one called tho American Congress on Tuberculosis, and the other tho American Congress for tho Prevention of Consumption. ."Since its inauguration, the National Association has done an immense amount to foster the development of anti-tuberculosis activities, by enlisting the sympathy and aid of the medical profession, by awakening public interest in tuberculosis and its prevention, and by stimulating public authorities to take action. "In the early days of the National Association they were much indebted to tho Russell Sage Foundation for assistance,,but recently the work both of the National Association and of the State associations has been largely financed from tho proceeds of the Christmas Seal scheme, which in 1925 realised in the 48 Slates nearly £1,000,----000. .. ' ■ "It has been considered in America that the Christmas Seal has been the greatest means of spreading the educational message of tho tuberculosis campaign that has ever been devised. The penny Christmas Seal reaches everyone, rich and poor; and furnishes the opportunity for widespread publicity. "Secondly, the Christmas Seal provided the funds which made organisations possible. In many cases local associations were started with funds furnished by the Christmas Seal, and tho fact that local programmes are supplemented with funds from the Christmas Seal ensures that they are run on approved business lines. , ■ : ■ HOW THE FUNDS ARE USED. "Thirdly, . the Christmas Seal has helped in the development of correct standards of organisation and work. Local groups might have dovelopefd only particular phases of tuberculosis work. The Christmas: Seal has enabled State associations to compel these organisations to adopt approved standards if they desire help from the Christmas Seal funds. . "Fourthly, tho ', Christmas Seal has been the means of attracting to the tuberculosis movement the most diversified interests of the** community. Labour unions, industrial and religious organisations, school children, women's clubs and societies, bankers and bakers —in fact, all the elements of American community life, have contributed not only financially, but in many other, ways to make the Christmas Seal a success. : , "The policy by which the money derived from the sale of seals is expended as far as possible in the community where the seals are sold, has evidently been a wise onel But at the same time a percentage of every dollar's worth of seals sold in a city or town goes to the support of national and State work as well as lopal work. "The proceeds of the Christmas Seal funds may be • used by State or local associations for such objects as: (a) Direct educational work; (b) propaganda efforts for the establishment and operation by public authorities of survey, nursing, dispensary, hospital, sanatorium, and similar agencies; (c) employment of nurses for tuberculosis surveys or temporarily (pending public provision) for visiting the homes of tuberculosis sick, securing admission to sanatoria; etc.; (d) organisation and temporary operation of dispensaries and out-patient stations for tho diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis, (c) establishment and, if need be, temporary operation of open-air schools, or preventoria; (f) payment in part of maintenance of patients in hospitals and sanatoria when efforts through public or privato agencies are ■unavailing; (g) after care (advice, employment, and, if need be, relief) of patients leaving sanatoria as arrested or cured; (h) relief needed to a family to enable a patient to accept hospital or sanatorium treatment. . . . "The work of the National Association includes the encouragement of the formation of State and local tuberculosis associations. It has been found that when these are formed sanatoria, hospitals, dispensaries, and health visiting arrangements seem to spring up automatically."

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JUST A PENNY, Evening Post, Issue 1, 2 July 1928

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867

JUST A PENNY Evening Post, Issue 1, 2 July 1928

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