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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 6, No. 4 April 14, 1943

Shadow Over New Zealand!

Shadow Over New Zealand!

Venereal disease and its prevalence in New Zealand is of importance to every one of us!

This was the theme on which Dr. Hubert Smith, Medical Officer of Health in Wellington, spoke to a crowded room on April 7th at the third exec-sponsored lecture this year. After a brief introductory talk on the forms of the disease. Dr. Smith had three films shown dealing with a factory lecture on V.D. in the U.S.A., the results of the disease, and the weapons available. The New Zealand figures in respect to the age distribution of the disease showed that 25% of the sufferers were under 20, and 50% between 20 and 30. The number of patients attending the clinics in 1941 were 2½ times the 1938 figures. The American figures were sufficient to make the public authorities conscious of the threat to the nation, and campaigns have been launched to inform the public of the symptoms and treatment available. Our New Zealand Health Act only ensures that treatment once entered upon is continued. Much U.S.A. State legislation requires blood tests for pregnant mothers and as a pre-requisite for marriage. Dr. Smith suggested that individuals here could apply this principle voluntarily. He stressed that it was pre-eminently a subject for young people. "Learn all about it! It's your business!" The standard of the discussion and questions that followed was high, and one student requested Dr. Smith to inform the student body if we could give him any assistance in this field. In concluding, Dr. Smith urged us not to be Pharisaic but to say with Pepys: "There, but for the grace of God, go I!'

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