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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 9. June 7, 1939

Grade C3

Grade C3.

New Zealand is alleged to be a country flowing with milk and honey, on which the sun shines in perpetuum, and in which the whole community are All Black footballers, whose toughness is the envy of the whole world.

Yet when we look around at the million and three quarter inhabitants of New Zealand, we find that we are far from being a healthy, [unclear: write] people. We received a bit of a shock when the health of the [unclear: men] who were being enlisted for the Great War was found to be such that the, majority of them were listed as C3. That was twenty-five years ago. Is the health of New Zealanders any better now than It was then?

Official figures are informative on this point.

If the report of the Director- General of Health for the year ending March 31st, 1938, is examined, some rather astonishing figures are revealed.

For instance, of the 100,000 children examined, 37 per cent, had notifiable defects.

The figures for goitre, dental caries and enlarged tonsils are perhaps the most significant, as these three diseases are the direct result of wrong feeding.

Goitre Teeth perfect Enlarged tonsils
% % %
Kindergarten 3.5 33.1 22.1
Primary 15.1 5.0 15.2
Secondary 20.5 2.5 5.8
Entering teaching prof 13.2 - 7.0

What would a similar survey of the adult population [unclear: result]?

We know that one person in every thirty-two in New Zealand in a public hospital every year and this figure does not include those in private or maternity homes.

Can we say that we are in any way a healthy nation? Official figures say nothing about the amount of digestive disturbances, headaches, goitre, flat chests, neuritis, neuralgia, sciatica and rheumatism with which our population is riddled. How many adults can honestly say that they never have an ache or a pain of any description? How many men and women have to take aspirin to help them through the day? The figures for the total consumption of aspirin and phenacetin in New Zealand would surely be informative if they wore available.