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Statement showing ratio of mortality per thousand, in each month of the year in a few special areas, 1872-73.

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There is much that is very interesting in this statement. It must be premised that the present year, 1873, for which the returns are mostly given, has not been at all an unhealthy year in Bengal; indeed it has been the reverse. There has as yet been no such mortality during the rains and cold weather as usually marks these seasons. The fever in Burdwan has been of a much less severe type, and has been far less fatal than in recent years. The town of Burdwan itself, for which the figures are furnished, haa practically escaped the fever, and has not suffered from its re-appearance, dwelt on in another chapter of this report, over the western part of the district. Yet the average death-rate in the town of Burdwan for the year has not been less than 53"8. In Barnagore the thriving and busy suburb of Calcutta, known as the North Suburban town, where there has been an entire absence of the epidemio so fatal there during the concluding months of 1872, and where oholera has been very rare, the mortality averages 36'5 per thousand. In the populous suburbs of Calcutta, where untiring pains are given by the municipality to improve the sanitation, and where their efforts are undoubtedly very successful, the mortality is registered at 36"1 per thousand. In the town of Nattore, in the district of Itajshahye, the rate is 31-2, and in the rural tract of that district the rate is 42 5 per thousand. The ratio of mortality in the rural tract is, however, enhanced by an epidemic of cholera in the spring which nearly doubled the number of ordinary deaths in March, April, and May. The town of Calcutta, and the figures returned for the city, 26 4 for 1872 and 25-1 for ±873, are wholly abnormal: it is doubtful whether they are to be implicitly trusted; but this question is fully discussed later on in this chapter.

The first conclusion forced on us by these figures is the high death-rate shown. In the second place it may be said that these figures are sufficient to indioate very vividly the comparative healthiness and unhealthinoss of the various seasons of the year.

The months immediately before the regular rains set in are the healthiest in the year. June, it is believed, is generally the healthiest Birth statistics.

month, but this year, owing to the late setting in of the rains, July has taken the pre-eminence. August follows as the next healthiest month,—a position it owes to the very scanty rain of the season, which kept the autumn mildly warm without its oustomary damp. May, April, and March, follow next; then February and October, the two transition months of the season; and November, December, and January, the regular cold weather, are left as the unhealthiest season. These generalizations are corroborated by the statistical results of hospital, jail, and other sickness and mortality ; at the same time we must await the records of other years before we can venture to pronounce with certainty upon the inference of the present. The figures we have now before us are a nucleus round whioh we may collect other figures, and they are more carefully acquired, and more trustworthy, than any figures of the same nature that have previously been collected in Bengal. Although the mortality is greatest in the cold weather months, this may be in great part the consequence of the enervating influence of the previous season.

The returns of birth statistics for the two first quarters of 1873 compare as follows:—

PEE 1,000 PEB ABSUM.

i » ,

Town arena. 1st quarter. 2nd quarter. Mean of the

Bancoorah
Beerbhoom
Moorshedabad
Malda ...
Darjeeling
Julpigoree
Goalparah
Cacbar ...
Patna ...
Shababad
Chumparnn
Sonthal Pergunnnhs
Cuttack...
Hazareebaugh
Kamroop
Nowgong

Rural areas—

Bancoorah

Beerbhoom

Moorshedabad

Maldah

Darjeeling

Julpigoree

Goalparah

Cacbar

Patna

Shababad

Chumparnn

Sonthal Pergunnahs

Cuttack

Hazareebaugh

Kamroop ...

Nowgong

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It is clear that these returns of birth are imperfect, though, like the mortuary returns, they evince a great improvement in the results of the second quarter over those of the first, and in point of fact Government has not yet much pressed for returns of birth, or insisted upon their beiDg rendered for all areas. It is far more difficult to secure accuracy in the registration of births than in that of deaths, and the Lieutenant-Governor has not been willing to hazard the success of the experiments now initiated by aiming at too much in the first instance. Where birth returns are rendered, special pains have now been enjoined to make them correct; but for the present the chief object of the selected area system has been to arrive at accuraoy in the rate of mortality, and much will have been done if in the course of a year or two we shall have obtained trustworthy statistics on this point. Some of the death returns are, as we have seen, very good; the system may be said to be already an assured success, and the Lieutenant-Governor does not doubt that the selected areas do promise to give us at no distant time trustworthy death-rates. When these are more complete— and in some areas they are already complete—the correct registration of births will be more pressed.

The results of the inquiry directed by the Secretary of State , . , ,.„,...,„„„ into the vital statistics of Calcutta, as

Recorded deaths in Calcutta in 1872. <. ,i . . v , i . ,

far as the inquiry nas yet been carried out, are given at some length subsequently in this chapter. During the year 1872 the deaths in Calcutta were recorded at 11,825, a proportion which, calculated on the population returns of the late census, amounts to 26 40 per thousand. The table of special areas already given shows that the total mortality in Calcutta from all diseases combined was at the highest rate in October, November, and December, and at the lowest in June. Fever, which carried off 5,003 persons, or 11*20 per thousand of the population, was most fatal in December; dysentery prevailed with the greatest intensity in January, November, and December; cholera (from which 1,142 or 2-50 per thousand died) committed the greatest havoc in December, and the next highest death-rates from this disease occurred in February, October, and November; diarrhoea caused the greatest loss of life in November and December ; small-pox in January.

The total ratio of Christian deaths bear a proportion to the Christian population of 33"5 per thousand, of Hindoo deaths to the Hindoo population 27-7, and of Mahomedan deaths to the Mahomedan population 22-8. The mortality in relation to sex was, males 234, females 32-3, showing a higher proportion of deaths among females improbable in itself, and not supported by the experience of other localities.

The mortality in the Calcutta Police was 65 out of 3,208, showing a death-rate of 20-26 per thousand.

There were 470 deaths in 1872 among the regular District Police

in the interior exclusive of Assam,

^Mortality among the police in the against 394, jn the previous yeai.( or a

rate of 21 0 against 19 per thousand in the previous year. No return has been received from the Garo Hills, in which the mortality amounted to 10 per cent in 1871. The highest death-rate was in Hooghly, where 22 men died out of a force of 442. Darjeeling and Julpigoree are the next in the list. The latter district appeared among the least healthy in the last year's report. Bancoorah, Pubna, Furreedpore, Noakally, Maunbhoom, and Cuttack, each shew less than ten deaths per thousand. In Assam 23 men died out of a strength of 1,629.

An account of the incidence of jail mortality is incorporated in . . ., this report in the chapter on prisons.

Mortality among prisoners in jail. A 1. • £ 1. i L j.v x

'r A bnet abstract is given in the present

chapter to complete in one place the record of such information as we have available on the subject of births and deaths in the past year. The average jail population of 1872, including all classes in jails and lock-ups, was 20,489 persons, and the deaths amounted to 1,063, showing a mortality rate of 51'9 per thousand. In 1871 the deaths among all classses in jails and lock-ups were 759, or 40-l per thousand among an average population of 18,919 persons. The mortality during the year 1872 had thus increased owing to severe outbreaks of cholera and the general unhealthiness of .the year.

There were 135 deaths from cholera, 332 from dysentery, 125 from fever, and 120 from diarrhoea There were more than twice the number of deaths from cholera in 1872 than there had been in the preceding year, when there were only 56 deaths from this cause. The ratio per thousand of deaths from cholera to average strength in jail was 6-8 per thousand in 1872, against 3-2 in 1871. Dysentery was also more fatal than usual. It carried off 17 "2 per thousand of the jail population, against 13*4, 10*8, and 13'2 in the three preceding years. The proportion of the number of deaths from fever and diarrhoea was 62 per thousand in each case, against 41 from fever and 3-8 from diarrhoea in the preceding year.

The rate of mortality was highest during August and the three following months. In August the death-rates (calculated per thousand per annum) were at the rate of 96 per mille, in September at the rate of 60, in October at 72, and in November at 60. The healthest months of the year, as shown by the jail mortality, were March, April, and June, when the mortality was at the rate of 28, 33, and 33 per thousand, respectively.

CALCUTTA VITAL STATISTICS.

The Army Sanitary Commission in England, in a memorandum

on the administration report of the edTor^wt^o"' P^utta municipality for 1870, having

invited especial attention to certain points regarding the mortality returns " which appeared to cast serious doubts on their value, and to require consideration in India," the Secretary of State desired in the end of 1872 that a special report on the subject might be submitted. A careful inquiry has accordingly been made into the subject by Government and the municipality during the past year.

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