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Infant mortality: a study of the impact of social intervention in Birmingham 1873 to 1938

Procter, Ruth Janet (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Following the appointment of a Medical Officer of Health for Birmingham, concern was frequently expressed by the Council regarding the high infant mortality rate, although it was only in 1899 that municipal action was taken to address the issue. This study reviews the context in which infant deaths occurred in Birmingham, presenting an analysis of the statistics provided by the Medical Officer of Health from 1873 to 1938, and making an assessment of the main causes of infant deaths. Interventions, both voluntary and municipal, which were implemented in the city, are investigated and their impact evaluated. It will be shown that health visiting and maternal and child welfare centres developed city wide, contributing to a decline in deaths due to diarrhoea and debility, while having no apparent impact on deaths due to prematurity. By using the municipal and voluntary agency reports, this study will show that initially there was a want of care shown by the local authority, with statistical change occurring only after the introduction of health visiting, although by initiating a culture of intervention the voluntary sector can be considered to have made a contribution to the reduction of infant mortality in Birmingham.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of History and Cultures, Department of Modern History
Subjects:HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
DA Great Britain
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1672
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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