School Medical Officer

School Medical Officer's Report, Penzance area, 11th Mar 1942. CRO reference: SRC/DC/8a/21
CRO reference: SRC/DC/8a/21

11th March 1942

School Medical Officers were responsible for checking the health of school children.

  • Find five different diseases or health problems and list them in order of seriousness.

  • What do you think 'verminous' meant?

  • What illnesses do you think are still common today?

Scabies ( a skin disease) was rife in schools, and was commonly misunderstood to be a disease casued by dirt and poverty. In fact scabies is caused by a mite which doesn't care if people are clean, dirty, rich or poor. Many people also associated the disease with evacuees.

  • How many local children were living in the 'Scabies Hostel' compared to the number of evacuees living there?

  • Compare the amount of local children found to have scabies following the school 'Scabies Inspection', against the number of evacuees suffering from the disease.

  • What does the evidence tell you about people's perceptions of evacuees and scabies?

  • Can you think of any health problems or illnesses that people associate with poverty or dirt today?