Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
We now turn to the problems associated with the health of the immigrant. In spite of the large volume of emigration, there appears to In' no medical inspection, either on leaving India or on arriving in Burma. In our opinion there should be a medical inspection of emigrant labour in India, so that the weaklings and the unfit, beggars and lepers may be prevented from embarking. Vaccination against small-pox and inoculation against cholera would reduce the danger of introducing these diseases from India. Recently the Port Health staff has taken steps to vaccinate on arrival such immigrants as it deems to be unprotected, but the system in force is unlikely to have much effect in protecting the community from small-pox brought from outside. No other form of health control is in force, and the poor physique and low standard of health of the average immigrant are such as readily to lay him open to attack from disease, especially under the conditions facing him on arrival. That health conditions are unsatisfactory is evidenced by the mortality figures for Rangoon. In 1929 the death rate was 32 per 1, 000, while the figure for infantile mortality was 321 per 1, 000 births. The corresponding figures for the previous five years averaged 34 and 340 respectively. In a town in which more than half the total population consists of males between the ages of 15 and 50 years, the ape distribution is particularly favourable to a low death rate, and, as no correction factor in this connection has been applied to the published figures, the death rate must be regarded as high. The death rate for 1929 among Hindu males in Rangoon is given as 25 . 9 per 1, 000, a very high figure when it is remembered that probably over four-fifths of this population is between the ages of 15 and 50 years.