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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Moves to Maadi and Suez Canal Zone

Moves to Maadi and Suez Canal Zone

During January the New Zealand Division moved from Baggush in brigade groups to either Maadi or the Suez Canal area in the region of Kabrit. Fifth Infantry Brigade, including 5 Field Ambu- page 313 lance, moved by road and rail to Kabrit on 4 January and there engaged in training in combined operations. Fourth Infantry Brigade, with 4 Field Ambulance, moved by road and rail to Maadi Camp on 5 January, stayed there seventeen days, and moved to Kabrit on 22 January; and 6 Infantry Brigade, with 6 Field Ambulance, moved from Baggush to Maadi Camp on 22 January and took over the lines vacated that day by 4 Brigade. On 7 January HQ NZ Division moved by road to Fayid, and was followed a day later by 4 Field Hygiene Section.

ADMS NZ Division called on ADMS Geneifa Sub-Area on 8 January and discussed medical arrangements for the area in general and for training in combined operations in particular. Fifth Field Ambulance had established an MDS at Kabrit, and cases were evacuated from there to 19 British General Hospital at Fayid (Geneifa). Expendable medical supplies were drawn from No. 3 Base Depot Medical Stores, Tel el Kebir, although at first there was some difficulty in obtaining them.

Sanitary arrangements at Kabrit Camp were poorly planned and had been improperly maintained since New Zealand troops had previously occupied the area. Although units did their utmost to improve sanitation, the system generally remained unsatisfactory, in spite of representations to higher authority.

Very little serious illness occurred among the troops during January and February while they were at Kabrit and Fayid, although there was a high incidence of colds, pharyngitis, and infection of the upper respiratory tract. This, together with the cold weather, produced a rather high pneumonia rate, there being twenty cases in January and twenty-two the following month. In January, too, there were twenty-eight cases of infective hepatitis, but the number dropped to eight in February. Otherwise, dysentery continued to claim a certain number of victims: 38 and 14 in January and February respectively.