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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Reorganisation of Hygiene Company

Reorganisation of Hygiene Company

Preventive measures for the maintenance of health were improved by the expansion of the Field Hygiene Section into a company incorporating the two malaria-control sections. The new establishment making this change official was effective from 25 July 1944. In operation the new amalgamated unit was found to have a number of advantages. The OC 4 Field Hygiene Company could delegate most of the company office work to the officer commanding the malaria-control section, and thus have more time free for his duties as Deputy Assistant Director of Hygiene to the Division. Previously, the malaria-control units had been under the disciplinary control, as well as the technical direction, of the OC 4 Field Hygiene Section without being amalgamated. In addition, the total amount of administrative work was reduced.

The Field Hygiene Section with one of the malaria-control units was attached to Rear Headquarters of the Division. The other page 601 malaria-control unit was attached to Main Divisional Headquarters. This resulted in a continuous and complete coverage of the Division, and was considered to be the only satisfactory way in which hygiene and malaria-control could be achieved in a Division constantly moving on active operations.

The new establishment set up in the form of a field hygiene company represented the consolidation of all the establishments at that time engaged in hygiene work, and in malaria or typhus control and disinfestation and shower provision. All these functions were now under the one command and the personnel could be adjusted as conditions changed.

Looking ahead, it was planned to convert one malaria-control section into a typhus-control section in the winter. The other malaria-control section was to be disbanded, but, if considered advisable, those of the section considered most suitable for hygiene duties were to be taken on for shower section duties.

The shower section provided a much-appreciated service and in the three months from July to September, inclusive, 44,000 men received hot showers at the Hygiene Company's plant, while the clothing and effects of 150 men were disinfested.