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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Returned Prisoners of War

Returned Prisoners of War

Early in 1945 numbers of repatriated prisoners of war passed through the Middle East on their way back to New Zealand. Some had come out of Germany through Russia, some had escaped in Italy, and some had come from Germany via England.

In March a group of seventy-one disabled prisoners was examined in Egypt and, of these, six were found then to be Grade A, six Grade C, four Grade D, and the remainder (55) were Grade E. There were nine cases of pleurisy and four of tuberculosis, six cases of mental disease, and twenty-one battle casualties. The general condition of the large majority was quite satisfactory.

Of 130 British and New Zealand ex-prisoners of war who arrived from Odessa in March from camps in East Poland and East Germany, many had spent periods of privation in the snow while escaping page 648 eastwards. In spite of this, their general nutrition was fair and better than was expected.

At 3 General Hospital during May, 438 ex-prisoners of war were examined and X-rayed. Only four showed any marked degree of malnutrition and the general condition of the great majority was good. Thirty-five were admitted to hospital, including eight with amoebic dysentery, two with duodenal ulcer, and one with bilateral tuberculosis of the lung. There were altogether 56 X-ray chest abnormalities—23 of old or healed tubercle, 6 of suspected active tubercle, and 27 other changes.