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registers kept, of such casualties as occur within the limits. A general census, though desirable, is not absolutely necessary on the subject.
In replying to the inquiries of the Secretary to the Prison Discipline Committee, the writer of this took the opportunity of suggesting the advantages that might be obtained from taking the census and keeping registers in particular Zillahs, or in limited districts around every Jail. It is obvious that such registers would have been available for many purposes, but the advantage then mainly insisted upon, was the facility that would have been afforded for comparing the mortality in the Jails, with that in the surrounding districts. It is understood that the suggestion was referred by the authorities to the Sudder Dewanny, who discouraged it, on the ground that it would lead to vexatious domestic intrusions. Convinced that the plan might be carried into execution without causing either vexation or annoyance, he selected a village containing 762 inhabitants, in the neighbourhood of the Moorshedabad Jail, and kept a register of the births and deaths for one year. During this period no death occurred from childbirth. Next year the register was made to include another village, embracing altogether a population of 2,778 persons, and during this period there was entered only one death in childbed. The registers for the first year were placed in the hands of your late Secretary by Mr. Adam, and are doubtless to be found among the papers of the Society.
These registers are not alluded to here as any authority on this subject, but merely as a practical evidence that they can be kept without causing trouble or inconvenience to any one. It is to be hoped, therefore, that Government will speedily institute measures for ascertaining the truth on this important question.
The above observations are by no means intended to convey the idea, that the mortality among native females from the cause assigned is not very great, on the contrary, it is believed to be excessive; nor is it likely to be otherwise till means are taken to disseminate among them something like information, and to introduce something like rational practice in reference to obstetric medicine. Yours truly,
11th October, 1839.
Explanatory Note by DR. DUNCAN STEWART, Superintendent General of Vaccination.
Mr. Kean has very justly pointed out a blunder in the note which accompanied my Table, published in the April number of the Journal,
which certainly conveys to the reader the erroneous impression that all the 1328 cases of "childbed disease" were mothers.
I took the earliest opportunity in my power of rectifying the misapprehension which this gave rise to, as soon as it was pointed out to me, by addressing a brief note to the Englishman newspaper on the subject.
If you will do me the favor, in noticing Mr. Kean's letter, to refer him to the paragraph which I have marked in the accompanying printed copy of my Evidence before the Municipal Committee, and the annexed Table, he will perceive that the mistake has arisen from the careless omission of an explanation there given of the native term used to denote that class of diseases.
"The term employed to include all accidents of this nature, and ap"plied indiscriminately to the infant and the mother, (antari-rog) is (6 one which attributes the fatal termination of such cases to demoniacal "influence. It is not applied to casualties after the first month, and we may therefore conclude that the picture here given, distressing though it be, does not exhibit the total amount of suffering, and "of death, caused by the barbarity, ignorance, and prejudices, of the "Hindoos in their management of lying-in women. The number of "still-born children is not given at all, nor is it, I fear, ascertainable. "The picture is sufficiently frightful, which shows, as matter of fact, "that of 1801 children who died during the first year of life, 1237 died "from the accidents of childbed. Out of 88 mothers who lost their "lives in childbed, four appear to have been so young as thirteen, two "aged fourteen, six aged fifteen, and eight died between the ages of "fifteen and twenty."
By reference to the annexed Table it will be seen that of the 1328 cases of "childbed" mortality, 1237 were infants under one year of age; and referring again to the Table in your April Journal it will be seen that most of these were not one month ill, and probably not older; 356 are stated to have died on the first day of illness; 308 on the second; 146 on the third, and so on. Neither the Table now sent nor the former has reference to the ratio of "mortality to population :" the imperfection of the census, which does not assign the ages of the living on any particular day, renders this impossible. The present Table exhibits merely the comparative prevalence and mortality of particular diseases, and the influence of these as affected by sex and age. The Table in the April Journal was drawn up from the same data, in order to discover the intensity of particular diseases, as evinced by their duration, before causing death.
Table of 20,000 Hindoo deaths, showing the mortality by particular diseases, and at particular ages of both sexes.
With the assistance of Captain Birch in 1837-38, the Statistical Committee of the Asiatic Society registered the births and deaths of natives in Calcutta, and the following results were obtained at the end of twelve months; viz. number of Births-2,781, whereof males 1,639, females 1,142. Of the mothers, 46 died in childbed; and during the same year the number of children under one year of age reported to have died, was 585, of whom 260 died during the first month of life. If we may suppose these children to be the same as those born in the same year and same place, the mortality is frightful, viz. 1 in every 5 for the year, or 1 in 10 for the first month.
Compare this with the statistical report of the Clinical Hospital of Midwifery in Berlin, published in a recent volume of the Lancet. 2,656 labors, 1,913 children were born alive, whereof 92 died within the first month of existence, that is only 1 in 20.
The mortality among the mothers in the Berlin Hospital is not very different however from that in Calcutta; only 38 out of 2,656 died in childbed, in other words 1 in 67. If the Calcutta registers for 1837 are confirmed by farther observation, the mortality here is 1 in 60.
5th November, 1839.
D. STEWART, M. D.
ART. IV. On fifteen varieties of Fossil Shells found in the Saugor and Nerbudda territories.-By GEORGE G. SPILSBURY, Esq. Surgeon, &c.*
Since the publication of my note on the discovery of the Fossil Shells near the Gour River, in the Journal for 1833, no notice has been sent of the children of that parent; and as I look upon myself now as a sort of Secretary for reporting Fossil discoveries of those more able, but not more willing than myself, I shall proceed to place on record a slight account of the localities from whence are derived the specimens I forwarded some months since.
On the arrival of Mr. Fraser, the Agent to the Governor General in these territories, in April last, that gentleman lost no time in making inquiries and sending out people in different directions; this led to the discovery of two other sites at no great distance from Suleya, viz.
This valuable paper was forwarded to Mr. Jas. Prinsep, in March, 1838, but was accidentally mislaid. We are now very happy in presenting it to our readers, together with facsimiles of Captain Reynolds' excellent drawings; and additional notes lately received from Dr. Spilsbury on the same subject.-EDs. J. A. S.