Page images
PDF
EPUB

Sick courses were supplemented by courses in elementary dietetics for which 2,514 dietitians were enrolled as instructors. There were more than 1,000 classes under instruction during the year, and 1,587 students carried their work through to a stage of proficiency which entitled them to certificates. Special classes for children reached 22,006 boys and girls in the schools.

The general public health activities included the enrolment and training of Public Health Nurses, the classes in elementary disease prevention and nutrition, and a third, which may be described as an effort to co-operate with all health agencies, Federal, State, and Municipal, in the extension of health instruction and the providing of every possible agency for health protection, particularly in smaller towns and rural communities where the health organisations of cities were entirely lacking. The society provided, equipped and often supported a large number of Health Centres," which formed a convenient and adequate meeting place for all the agencies, educational, clinical and supervisory which co-operate for the common good. In many of the larger cities the establishing of health centres resulted in the elimination of overlapping work and reduced the expense of the public effort.

"

Public Health Nurses were sent out as the evangelists of this public health campaign. Drawn from among the nurses registered and often trained by the Red Cross Society itself, the 1,335 public health nurses employed by chapters of the Red Cross or by communities were working in 1,200 different centres, scattered through all the fortyeight States and also in Alaska, the Virgin Islands, and Porto Rico. The work of these advance agents of public health was described as “the informing and the instructing, particularly of the women of the community, whose charge and responsibility is home making and home keeping, in regard to the things that have to do with the development and protection of individual and community health. Such are pre-natal and maternity nursing, industrial nursing and always Health Education." These nurses examined an average of 55,000 school children every month for the detection and correction of physical defects.

Accident Prevention. Public conscience has been aroused by the work of Red Cross members to the deplorable number of serious accidents that take place every year. More than 75,000 people are killed in the United States every year by accidents which might have been prevented if greater caution were taken and serious results might often have been avoided if first aid had been available. These facts were made the subject of a special campaign of education to increase the number of people capable of giving help in an emergency. Of the 3,200 chapters 437 have organised classes and have enrolled 104,496 students. Of these more than 20,000 have completed the courses and have received certificates. A Red Cross Life Saving Corps for boys and girls as well as for adults has more than 7,000 members; all proved capable of saving a drowning person.

Seventy disasters, including floods, fires, and explosions, required the help of Red Cross hapters and the national organisations expended for the victims more than $1,500,000.

The great growth of the American Red Cross during the war, when its membership included at one time more than 40 % of the whole population of the country, was made largely on a programme of participation in practical work by means of which members, particularly women and children were enabled to make direct and personal contribution. This programme of production is still going and in the year 1920-1921 the results of freely given effort on the part of thousands of women went to the relief of the children of Eastern Europe. Half the total number of chapters kept their workrooms open. Layettes numbering 56,486 were completed and shipped to Europe, and 551,680 garments, partly remade, partly entirely new, were sent to the same field of distress. The activities of the Junior Red Cross in the United States have never been measured or summarised. They are too varied in character and too widespread in the educational system of the country. In 31,710 schools, public, parochial and private, children were carrying on activities, which embraced every sort of personal service to unfortunate

school fellows, production of garments and of furniture and playthings for distributing at home or abroad, the providing of clinical, and nursing help to their own school communities, as well as extra-food for undernourished children. By means of their school correspondence with children in other countries and their missions attached to the American Red Cross work in Europe, these school children have brought themselves into contact with their brothers and sisters in many other lands.

The Commission to Europe of the American Red Cross is now devoting its energy and its resources to the care of children a medical programme which was planned as supplementary to the feeding programme of the American Relief Council. The way in which this European work has been carried on will be described in the Bulletin in a later issue.

Coordinating health work. A striking example of coordination of health work is represented by the new Red Cross health centre, recently opened in East Harlem by the New York County chapter of the American Red Cross. Twenty-one welfare and health agencies have united to coordinate their efforts for the benefit of this congested section of New York City. The organisations thus grouped together include the City Department of Health, the American Social Hygiene Association, the New York Tuberculosis Association, the Association for the Prevention and Relief of Heart Disease, the Association for the Aid to Crippled Children, the State Charities Aid Association, the United Hebrew Charities, the Catholic Charities, etc.

"

"

A system of health bookkeeping has been adopted by the new health centre to insure meeting all the needs of the district, which has a population of 100,000. Thanks to this centre, several important health movements have been started; thus, for instance, 600 children have been prepared for school this autumn, having been given the necessary physical and mental equipment.

Appointment of new chairman.

Following the resignation of Dr. Livingston Farrand from the chairmanship of the American Red Cross in order to accept the presidency of Cornell University, President Harding has appointed Judge John Barton Payne chairman of the Society.

Mr. Payne, who is a well known American lawyer, was appointed in 1917 General Counsellor to the United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation, and in 1918 General Counsellor to the Director General of Railroads. In 1919 he became chairman of the United States Shipping Board, and on March 1, 1920, Secretary of the Interior.

Child Health Exposition. After five months of successful work, the American Red Cross Child Health Exposition has closed its activities for this year. Six cities in France have been visited: Lille, Roubaix, Tourcoing, Cambrai, Douai and Valenciennes, besides a month spent in Paris.

"

An average of 5,000 persons a day visited the exposition, which covered all phases of child welfare. Various French and American organisations, such as the American Committee for Devastated France, the Bordeaux training school for nurses, the French Red Cross, and the Jardin des Enfants" helped in providing specialized departments. In every city the French medical profession were unanimously enthusiastic in supporting the undertaking, local physicians everywhere giving their services free of charge for lectures, examinations, consultations, etc. The municipal authorities provided suitable quarters, usually in a public school building or municipal exhibition hall, and every morning large numbers of school children visited the exposition.

It is expected that the Child Health Exposition will continue its work next summer under the management of French child welfare associations.

Membership Campaign. The annual membership campaign of the American Red Cross, which opened on Armistice Day, November 11, was brought to conclusion on Thanksgiving Day, November 24. The results of this campaign will be published in one of the next numbers of the Bulletin.

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS.

The "Revue Internationale de la Croix-Rouge" of October 15, 1921 (Vol. III, No 34), publishes an important article by its secretary-general, M. Paul Desgouttes, dealing with the abuse of the name and the symbol of the Red Cross.

In an article entitled the "Red Cross at the Esperanto Congress at Prague, M. Rodolphe Horner, delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross at the thirteenth world conference on Esperanto, records the progress made in developing the peace-time activities of the Red Cross, especially as regards child welfare and the fight against diseases of every sort. Details regarding the situation of Russian refugees and relief work for children are also given in this number.

SAVE THe childrEN FUND.

The International Save the Children's Fund (Union Internationale de Secours aux Enfants) held its third meeting in Stockholm from September 22 to 25. There were present at the Conference more than 80 delegates, representing the following 16 countries: Austria, Czecho-Slovakia, Denmark, Esthonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine.

The conclusions at which the Conference arrived were summarised in four resolutions: '

The first, while expressing satisfaction that in several parts of Europe between the Baltic and the Mediterranean there was less distress among the children than heretofore, stated that in others the situation was still very precarious, threatening, particularly among the various classes of refugees, to become catastrophic, and asked the Union to request its affiliated Committees to persevere in their efforts to succour the children in these areas till the economic conditions become more favourable.

The second resolution thanked Dr. Nansen for accepting the double part of High Commissioner for the Russian famine under the Geneva Conference and High Commissioner under the League of Nations for dealing with the Russian refugees, and urgently invited all those able to render effective help to devote their efforts to succouring the starving children of Russian, Armenian, Turkish and other nationalities in Eastern Europe and the Near East, and also the children of Russian refugees in the various countries where they were to be found.

The third resolution stated it to be the opinion of the Congress that the world problem of child relief could only be solved by a world effort, and expressed the hope that such a world movement might result from the concentration

From the "Record of the Save the Children Fund", Vol. II, No 3, Oct. 15, 1921.

of the efforts of relief agencies at Geneva, in co-operation with the Red Cross and with the support of the League of Nations. It therefore invited all nations which had not yet adhered to the Union to form affiliated national Committees without delay, and expressed the hope that relief agencies, whilst preserving complete independence as necessary for their co-operative as for their individual efficiency would seek more and more the means of helping each other and of participating with all their forces in the common effort. The fourth resolution is in the form of an appeal to young people throughout the world not to forget the millions of children in Europe who are in great distress, emphasising the necessity of coming to their relief with the greatest possible speed.

NEWS OF THE LEAGUE.

OFFICIAL NEWS.

The Red Cross Society of Luxemburg, by letter dated October 29, 1921, has accepted the League's invitation to become one of its members.

In a letter dated August 30, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the League of Red Cross Societies created an Advisory Committee consisting of the following:

The Hon. Sir. Arthur Stanley, Chairman, (British Red Cross)
Senator A. Depage, (Belgian Red Cross)

Colonel E. P. Bicknell, (American Red Cross)

Senator Giovanni Ciraolo, (Italian Red Cross)

Mr. W. G. Pearce, (representing the Chairman of the Board of Governors) and Sir Claude Hill (Director General).

The purpose of this action was to furnish to the Director General, during the periods between meetings of the Board of Governors, a body of advisers to whom the Director General could submit important questions of policy and whom he could consult regarding matters of administration.

The first meeting of the Advisory Committee was held in Paris on October 15. Unfortunately Senator Ciraolo was unable personally to attend, but he was represented by H. E. Sig. Carlo Garbusso, Minister Plenipotentiary.

Several questions of importance concerning the policy and programme of the League were discussed; and in particular the plans formulated by the Director General for the budget of the next ensuing year were approved for submission to the Council of the League, which will assemble in March 1922. The question of the financial relations of the League with affiliated societies was examined, and it was decided that the Director General should consult the latter on this subject with a view to a full discussion at the Council meeting.

By letter, dated September 27, 1921, Professor A. Depage, Chairman of the Belgian Red Cross Society, has informed the League of Red Cross Societies that the Belgian Red Cross has recently voted an appropriation of 50,000 Belgian francs as contribution towards the running expenses of the League for the year 1922.

The Belgian Red Cross having placed a sum of 100,000 Belgian Frs. at the disposal of the League of Red Cross Societies for the relief of Russians, both in Switzerland and in Russia, half this sum has been handed over by the League to Dr. Nansen.

« PreviousContinue »