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Madagascar News Forums The Transformation of Antananarivo Reply To: The Transformation of Antananarivo


The health status of a population generally reflects its standard of living and its degree of material prosperity. According to Lieutenant-Colonel Mercier, Chief Medical Officer of the Municipal Hygiene Office of Antananarivo, the capital’s current record is satisfactory and shows a rapid and noticeable improvement in the early 1950s.
This improvement is particularly noticeable in two diseases transmitted by insect vectors. This result is due to massive domestic disinsection operations undertaken by the municipal administration at the end of 1949 and continuously continued since then and which supplement the results of immunizations obtained by vaccines in recent years.
Indeed, of all the endemo-epidemic affections local, the plague and the malaria are still indicated at the time by the extent or the gravity of their manifestations. The first is more spectacular, the second more insidious is much more deadly for the community and therefore more important because of its demographic, economic and social implications.
Appearing in Antananarivo in June 1921, the plague has been raging ever since.
Often in pulmonary form, and therefore always fatal. After twenty-nine years and more than 2,000 European and indigenous cases, it is silent in the city of Antananarivo where the last case dates back to August 10, 1949. “This is the first time that such a silence of two Years has been observed for thirty years. “
In terms of malaria, “all of my information agrees to be able to confirm its decline”: regression of the number and vitality of vector species, reduction of hematological indexes in the communities monitored, decrease in the number and frequency of unavailabilities In the public services and enterprises, a reduction in morbidity and total malaria.
In particular, indigenous malaria mortality is already declining in 1949, following the implementation of chemoprophylaxis in Indigenous Medical Assistance and in schools. Thus, in 1950, it declined mainly from the application of control methods by residual insecticides, as shown by the figures. In 1946, the number of deaths from malaria (Madagascar population) was 843 (588.67 per 100 000 inhabitants), but in 1950 it dropped to 189 (118.42 per 100 000 inhabitants), a decrease of nearly 80% since 1946 and more than 50% between 1949 and 1950.
During the same period, while the Aboriginal population increased by more than 11%, overall mortality decreased itself in significant proportions (over 40%). Because the number of deaths (except stillbirths) recorded at BMH rose from 3,959 in 1946 to 2,655 in 1949 and 2,315 in 1950.
Finally, malaria, which in 1946 and 1947 ranked first in the causes of death, occupied the fourth place in 1950, after the affections of the respiratory tract, the digestive tract, and even the circulatory system. The mortality of Europeans and the like is also influenced in the same way and the number of deaths from malaria decreases from 31 in 1946 to 10 in 1950, while the number of deaths recorded in the BMH decreases by 20% (161 in 1950 against 201 In 1946), despite an increase of nearly 14% of the European population.

This double parallel decrease in mortality from malaria and the more general decrease in the total European and indigenous population is particularly noticeable from this year 1950. “It testifies in favor of the decline in endemic malaria and undeniably coincides with The combined application of chemoprophylaxis and house-spraying operations. “
According to Dr. Mercier, the various communicable diseases do not generally have a more severe pathological form in Antananarivo or a more extensive epidemiological form than in France. Pertussis, fever and eruptive illnesses of childhood, tetanus, influenza, pneumococcal and even typhoid fever, cerebro-spinal meningitis and diphtheria do not occur with more intensity and have only manifested themselves there than in the sporadic form. Poliomyelitis, since the epidemic outbreak of 1946-1947, where 125 cases have been recorded in four months, has since become evident only in isolated cases.
Finally, during this period, social illnesses do not develop there either with an intensity significantly greater than that of the large French agglomerations. “While tuberculosis and especially syphilis are somewhat more widespread among the indigenous population, respiratory and digestive diseases are now the leading cause of morbidity and mortality since the decline of malaria, Endemic leprosy are reduced each year. “