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General Mannerheim's League for Child Welfare in Finland

"In the work for promoting national health, we in Finland are far behind most other civilized countries. Eloquent proof of this is the high death rate in our country among infants and children of school age, as well as the high tuberculosis mortality."

These lines are taken from the Report for 1923 of General Mannerheim's League. They will assuredly soon be true only in a historic sense, for the vigour and wide scope of the League's activities must quickly raise the general standard of hygiene throughout Finland whose representatives at the Olympic Games have already shown what the country can produce. An account of General Mannerheim's League was published in "The World's Health' for January 1923. Since then it has flourished and grown so prodigiously that it is impossible to give an account of it that will be at once brief and comprehensive. An organization which in one year deals with 2,236 different matters referred to it, and which despatches 6,464 letters during the same period, is not a puny infant !

In 1923 the League decided to co-operate with the Finnish Red Cross, whose President is General Mannerheim. The League also elected Baroness Mannerheim as its first

The League has organized an infant welfare touring exhibition, stopping for two or three days at each of the 40 places visited, and giving demonstrations to about 16,000 persons. Two summer colonies were provided for 47 weakly school children and grants of money were made to other organizations for summer colonies. The League also approached individual families living in the country, inducing them to adopt temporarily poor town children, 66 of whom were thus provided with a summer holiday. The League has also promoted popular hygiene through the medium of its own publications and cinema films, as well as through that of the general press which has opened its columns from time to time to propaganda for infant welfare.

Other activities of the League include a Child Welfare Day which was celebrated on March 3rd by speeches and entertainments. Bishop Jaakko Gummerus drafted an address which was put at the disposal of the clergy throughout Finland, and with this and other material provided them, they stressed in their sermons on this Day the importance of infant welfare in general, and the value of the League's work in particular. Offertories on this Day were given to the League. It also held a Child Welfare Week in November. In collect

honorary member in grateful recognition ing and distributing Christmas gifts, in provid

of her work for it and in commemoration of her sixtieth birthday on December 21, 1923.

"Barnets Borg" is a home run by the League in Helsingfors for stray and sickly infants under the age of one, of whom 169 were admitted in 1923. This home is also a centre for individual popular instruction in health matters, medical advice being given once a week to mothers, and classes being held for the training of health workers. As many as 43 nurses and midwives attended a complete course of lectures.

ing travelling scholarships to enable child welfare workers to pursue their studies abroad, and in many other ways, General Mannerheim's League has not only adopted the ideas of other organizations abroad but has shown much independent initiative and foresight. Finland is evidently a country to which child welfare workers will soon make pilgrimages. Incidentally, it should be mentioned that during the past two years, two representatives of this League have visited for study purposes the Junior section of the Secretariat of the League of Red Cross Societies in Paris.

Teaching First Aid to South African Natives

A live sheep may seem an unusual prize to offer to a winning Ambulance Team, but probably the native mine boys who receive this reward from the South African Red Cross Society know how to appreciate it. It is one of the prizes offered to mine employees by the Society in their annual Ambulance Competitions which are proving so successful.

The importance of properly organized first aid has long been recognized by the South African mining authorities and an excellent system has now been developed in conjunction with the South African Red Cross Society. The mining companies provide the equipment and personnel, and appoint officials to control and direct the first aid service, while the Red Cross carries out the necessary training and organizes ambulance competitions.

Special attention is paid to the training of selected native mine workers, and they have proved apt pupils. Some idea of the extent to which the training has been carried out can be gathered from the fact that almost 10,000 certificates for First Aid with special reference to Mining Accidents" have now been issued. The value. of the instruction is demonstrated by statistics which

show that in 1912 the deaths from accidents numbered 845 or 3.90 per 1,000 whilst in 1922 they had fallen to 336 or 1.91 per 1,000.

Certain provisions are laid down by Government Regulations for the mines, but are often elaborated by the mining companies who keenly realize the importance of the work. For instance, Government regulations provide for an Accident Emergency Station at the head of every main shaft, equipped with stretchers and first aid boxes, but these have, in many cases, been supplemented by Compound Dressing Stations, situated in the native compounds, which are found to lessen hospital costs. In addition to such surface stations there must also be underground ambulance stations,



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Ambulance Officers to attend accidents. take charge of emergency stations and assist in the training of natives in first aid. At present only the "Boss Boys", as the foremen of native gangs are called, are receiving instruction, but it is hoped later to make the instruction more general.

The course, carried out by a qualified instructor, consists of twelve lessons and demonstrations. The text-book used is Irvine's First Aid and Rescue Work in Mining, a most practical manual, the first edition of which was reviewed in this journal when it appeared, and of which a revised and enlarged edition has just been issued (1). A small text-book, mainly consisting of illustrations, is also being prepared in several languages for the use of natives.

The lectures include a Health Talk and a

(1) First Aid and Rescue Work in Mining, by Louis G. Irvine, M. A., M. D., B. Sc. (Pub. H.) Edin. Part 1. General Course in First Aid. Part 11. First Aid and Rescue Work in Mining. 1924. Johannesburg; South African Red Cross

The stretcher used in the South African mines Society. is not the usual canvas stretcher, but a model known as the Red Cross Plank Stretcher.


This is narrower than the ordinary stretcher and can more easily be carried through confined openings. Being rigid, with straps attached, it can be used for transport up and down steep workings, and the fact that it is made of wood makes it easy to keep clean.

Many mining companies have appointed whole-time


Safety First Talk, both wise additions to the usual First Aid course. The special admonition The special admonition to Boss Boys: "Boss Boys, you are the leaders of your people on the mines, and it is your duty to look after their health, to see that they go to hospital when they are sick or injured, and do not hide their injuries or ailments" recalls the picturesque address to Arab chiefs

contained in the Book of Good Health (1): "Upon you, O chiefs, caids and sheikhs, devolves the foremost part in the common task of protecting the public health". The Arab, in his dusty white burnous, and the native African, in his grimy cotton blouse, are both being taught that power carries with it responsibility, in health matters as in other things.

Modern Health Institutions

Under this heading in our issue of November 1923, we invited the co-operation of our readers with regard to supplying us with information as to the latest development of health institutions in various countries. The subject of Industrial Welfare is a very interesting one, and we give here some particulars of what is being done in America, by the "Harvard Mercantile Health Work" (kindly supplied by Dr. A. B. Emmons, the Director), and in England, at Port Sunlight (from James Knox, M. A., Principal of Lever Bros.Staff Training College).


In December 1919, at the request of certain business men, the Harvard Medical School, Division of Industrial Hygiene, agreed to make a study of the health conditions in large shops (''stores'). Twenty-five such establishments in six towns agreed to finance a fiveyear study, and a preliminary survey was immediately instituted, and as it was completed in each shop, a report was furnished.

Nine shops are to-day sending in monthly statistical reports, for it was felt that one of the first necessities was some basis to work on, both as regards physical conditions, and as to disability and its causes. The Governing Committee on Industrial Hygiene of the Harvard School of Public Health secured a Medical

Director; and an Executive Committee composed of six business men, five doctors, and one authority on educational matters meets monthly and advises the Director.

The latter is called upon by the shops to advise in regard to developing their health work. He makes visits at least every six months to the shops in the five cities outside New England. He thus maintains supervision of the health work in the shops, and by bringing the experiences of other shops is able to assist the shop doctors and nurses to solve their problems. In short, he acts as a carrier of accumulating experience and as consultant in administrative health matters.

One interesting development has been the establishment of shop health committees which meet monthly and discuss matters of importance with regard to the health of all departments, representatives of which are on the Committee. Such a Committee has proved that the hour spent each month in considering the health of the store and relationships is an hour well spent. It prevents misunderstandings, it educates the heads of departments as to medical needs, and educates the doctor and nurse as to business methods and require


One large establishment has a health depart

(1) See The World's Health, Aug., 1923, p. 9.

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