Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

War Surgery and Medicine

New Zealand VD Treatment Centres

New Zealand VD Treatment Centres

The growth of the New Zealand VD Treatment Centre was an interesting one. Not being bound by a rigid military establishment it was completely flexible, and the type and size of the unit were changed as circumstances demanded.

page 602

When the numbers of troops in the desert were small and Base Camp was at Maadi, Camp Hospital filled all needs, the only disadvantage being the inability to prevent the more incorrigible patients from breaking bounds and reinfecting themselves in Cairo. This was partially remedied by the issuing of ‘Blues’ and withdrawing uniforms.

As the numbers increased, laboratory facilities, and the smooth machinery of admission and discharge, together with the attendant discipline of a General Hospital, were indicated.

Nos. 101 and 102 NZ VD Treatment Centres fulfilled these needs admirably, being attached, as they were, to the General Hospitals, which were close enough to the battlefield at Alamein to avoid loss of time in transit of cases, and also near leave centres and the detached troops in Palestine.

The mobile type of warfare after Alamein meant ever-lengthening distances, and attempts were made to hold cases in the Field Ambulances under officers who had previously taken a short refresher course in VD at Camp Hospital. This avoided the enormous wastage by evacuation of cases beyond the Division, and, since opportunities for contracting VD were almost absent in the Western Desert, the small number of cases was adequately treated.

However, more and more difficulty was experienced in coordinating and ensuring weekly treatment of cases of syphilis, because of the evacuation of wounded personnel and the arrival of reinforcements, and the need of a more highly trained and coordinated unit was soon felt.

In modern warfare movement is so rapid and formations are so scattered at times that a mobile unit limpet to a divisional formation, viz., a field ambulance, is the only way of keeping infected personnel from being shunted back down the long line of evacuation.

It was found that the only alternative scheme—treatment at the nearest non-New Zealand VD Treatment Centre—was hazardous, as records were lost, continuation of treatment was missed, and much time was wasted.