Sheffield Independent – Tuesday 12 October 1937
Parents Hinder War On Diphtheria at Darfield
A complaint of the apathy of parents on the subject of immunisation factor in the fight against diphtheria is made in the annual report of Dr. J. W, Whitworth, Medical Officer Health for Darfield, where there has been a heavy incidence of the disease.
“It matter for regret, M states Dr. Whitworth, that the number of children and under school age asking for immunisation is not higher.
“During the year a further campaign of immunisation was carried out but the response was very poor. This seems to have been general throughout the country.
What They Say
“The apathy the parents is, I think, summed in the response, ‘My mother never had us done, doctor.’ Considering that immunisation was not practised wide scale until the late 1920’s, nothing could truer than such reply. “But surely we are not going to wait until the recently immunised children are parents before get an adequate response of volunteers.’’
Dr. Whitworth reports that the diphtheria cases during the period increased from five to 29 and there were four deaths. A brighter feature of the report the statement that cancer deaths fell from 17 to nine. Scarlet fever cases, however, rose from 20 to 58.
Dr. Whitworth draws distinction between real overcrowding distinct from “legal overcrowding’’ and says that the estimate of 39 houses overcrowded according to legislative test is a “regrettably low estimate.’’
He says the new houses erected by the local authority and by private enterprise are admirable.