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There were many medical changes during World War Two but these changes continued after the war. In Britain, the biggest change was the establishment of the National Health Service NHS that provided free medical care for all regardless of wealth. Prior to this those who could not afford something like a penicillin jab had to go without or make the necessary sacrifices to get the necessary money.
The NHS provided this for free. Post, many advances were made in the management of pregnancy and childbirth. This included the ability to induce labour and the use of epidurals to ease difficult pregnancies. As a balance to this, there was a move for less state intervention in childbirth and the development of the right for women to have more natural childbirth.
In , the National Childbirth Trust was set up. The greater use of scans after also helped to detect problems earlier. More vaccines were developed to control childhood diseases. After the war the health of children was generally better than at any other time in history. Treatments were also developed for children with heart disease. After , major advances were also made in birth control.
In earlier times there had been advances in rubber sheaths but they were seen more as a protection against syphilis as opposed to a form of birth control. Marie Stopes did much to change attitudes as to give women more freedom when concerning birth control. However, pre-war social conventions had done much to prevent the total spread of her ideas throughout Britain. This had first been developed in but was more widely available after Such concerns did much to stymie its use.
Many very significant medical advances were also made after These three were also helped by the work done by Rosalind Franklin. DNA is the substance that makes life — a human cell that contains genes, which are made up of chromosomes, the basis of living tissue. In recent years, researchers have been able to identify specific genes that are responsible for specific diseases. New drugs have also been created post The success of penicillin during the war, prodded researchers to study other moulds.
Streptomycin, found in chickens, was used successfully to treat TB. This treatment was pioneered primarily in America after Streptomycin was also found to be capable of treating many other diseases that penicillin could not.
However, it was found that too much use of streptomycin could lead to the TB germ developing a resistance to its use. After , streptomycin was used with Isoniazid in the fight against TB.
This again was developed in America. In recent years, despite this array of drugs against TB, there have been fears that TB can be resistant to all drugs that have been developed to fight it.
Nonetheless, when American forces arrived aboard the Edmund B. Alexander shipboard physicians soon began to encounter cases of VD.
This continued as Fort Pepperrell was constructed and U. In addition to receiving medical treatment, infected soldiers were pressured to identify the women they believed had infected them, so that they too could be treated to reduce further spread of the disease. The U. At Fort Pepperrell, the infection rate was roughly 25 per 1, soldiers from , dropping to 10 per 1, in when health authorities stepped up their preventative efforts.
Despite concerns about the possibility of infection from local girls, VD rates at Fort Pepperrell stayed well below the U. Army's average of 49 per 1, VD was also a problem at Harmon Field in Stephenville. To control the spread of disease, U.
Infection was thought by U. It is noticeable, however, that these areas were largely populated by descendents of Mi'kmaq Indians and French settlers, and these claims and concerns may well have been based on the racist attitudes of American authorities. One of the obvious needs generated by war is medical care for sick and injured servicemen, and hospital beds for long-term patients. The Royal Canadian Navy RCN , for example, followed the general rule of having enough hospital space to accommodate 5 percent of land-based and 50 percent of ocean-going personnel at any one time.
John's did not have enough hospital beds for its own population, let alone for the large numbers of servicemen. As a result, an unprecedented number of hospitals were constructed by military forces during the Second World War. The RCN built two large hospitals in St. The Americans built large, modern hospitals at Fort Pepperrell in St. John's, and at Argentia and Stephenville. These military hospitals were some of the most modern medical facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador.
When the war ended, most of them were no longer needed by the military, and were put into civilian use. With remarkable foresight, this hospital had been built on land acquired and serviced by the Newfoundland government on the understanding that it would be turned over to the sanatorium which was in desperate need of additional space when hostilities ended.
The second RCN hospital was also turned over to the government, and became the orthopedic wing of the General Hospital. The Charles A. Janeway Child Health Centre, commonly known as the Janeway Children's Hospital, was opened at Pleasantville in in what was originally the hospital at Fort Pepperrell.
Similarly, when the USAF base at Harmon Field in Stephenville closed in , the hospital which had taken in civilian patients during the war was turned into a civilian hospital. The hospitals at Gander and Botwood became the local cottage hospitals in World War II brought many changes to Newfoundland and Labrador — economic, political, cultural, and social.
The area of health care was no exception. Despite the problems with housing, slums, and VD, efforts to provide medical care for soldiers, sailors and airmen attached to the military bases in Newfoundland and Labrador had long-term effects on post-war health care services. The most tangible of these were the wartime military hospitals, built for military requirements and with military budgets, which were later turned over to the government for civilian use. These facilities became vital components of post-war health care infrastructure.
Much of the hospital capacity of Newfoundland in the second half of the twentieth century owes its existence to the pressures of war. There were other tangible health benefits to war as well. Improvements in transportation, especially aviation, helped reduce the isolation of much of Newfoundland and Labrador's population, which improved diets and access to medical services. More importantly, the war created an era of relative economic prosperity which helped alleviate the poverty of the s.
There was a discernible drop in the infant mortality rate in Newfoundland during the war years, averaging 93 deaths per 1, births during , compared with deaths per 1, births from , although Newfoundland still had a higher rate than other British Commonwealth countries. Tuberculosis deaths also declined significantly during the war years, dropping below deaths per , people for the first time since records were kept.
The TB death rate averaged for the s, but from
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