New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy
Considering the trying nature of operations in Greece and Crete the health of the troops had remained good, in spite of some general page 215 loss of weight. In June there was a minor outbreak of acute anterior poliomyelitis, against which appropriate measures were taken in the isolation of contacts, the ensuring of adequate ventilation of huts, and enforcement of the instruction regarding the boiling of eating utensils. It was considered that the effective enforcement of these measures limited the spread of the outbreak. (It was noted that a few cases were occurring regularly in the Division before it went to Greece but that there were no cases in Greece and Crete. More fresh cases arose on return to Egypt.)
On 5 May DDMS 2 NZEF directed Lieutenant-Colonel Boyd to go to Helwan Camp to investigate the statement that troops returning from Greece were suffering from vitamin deficiency. In his report Colonel Boyd stated that the allegation seemed to have been based on one medical officer's statement that he had seen an unduly large proportion of septic scratches, abrasions, boils, and diarrhoea. On inquiry it was found that the consensus of opinion was that the health of the troops in Greece was in every respect better than it had been at any time previously in the Western Desert. Colonel Boyd reported that the diet of the troops in Helwan contained an abundance of protective foodstuffs, that no general alteration in it was considered necessary, and that there was no cause for anxiety.