Infant Mortality

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THE appearance of Dr. Ashby's book is very well timed, for in these days of human wastage it behoves a nation to conserve its resources. It is true that in recent years there has been a slight drop in infant mortality, but it is still disgracefully high, and is largely counterbalanced by a fall in the birth-rate. The word disgraceful is the correct one, because the vast majority of deaths are due to preventable causes, of which the most important is diarrhoea due to bad feeding and especially to bad and infected milk. Dr. Ashby shows that much may be done by the proper instruction of the mothers, but by far the greatest responsibility falls on public bodies and the Government, for it is only they who can deal with the larger questions of hygienic precautions, such as regulations of cleanliness in food depots, and the prevention of fly-borne disease; the call for proper regulation of the milk traffic is an urgent one; the provision of shells is important, but the provision of a healthy race to make and use them is even more pressing. We trust that useful books such as the one under consideration may bear fruit in the proper quarters.

Infant Mortality.

By Dr. H. T. Ashby. Pp. x + 229. (Cambridge: At the University Press, 1915.) Price 10S. 6d. net.

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H., W. Infant Mortality . Nature 95, 449 (1915) doi:10.1038/095449b0

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