LOCK-HOSPITALS IN TIIE MADRAS PRESIDENCY. We have
with much interest
by Medical DepartHospitals, ment, Madras, on the working of the lock-hospitals of the presidency town and military cantonments of the Madras Presidency Dr. Balfour gives a careful resume of the for the year 1871. history of lock-hospitals in tlio Madras Presidency, showing the
the first establishment of these institutions
again partially abolished in 1809,
ago as 1805 ; they reopened in 1810, and continued in operation till 183o, when they were for a second timo closod. From the latter date up to 1855, there wcro no lock-hospitals in the Madras Presidency, but in the lattor year they were once more re-established, and have ever since been continued in operawere
tion." At first it seemed to bo considered sufficient to
for vonereal disease.
Prostitutes did not, as might liavo been expected, resort to them, and in place of diminishing, venereal disease among the troops seems to have increased. This
appears also to liavo been observed in the
Presidency, where lock-hospitals were in existence from the year 182G to 1829, has never been satisfactorily explained. The next step in Madras towards rendering those institutions more efficient was to appoint a "chowdranee" for tho purpose of detecting and inspecting prostitutes in their own houses. This functionary was to act under tho general control of the policeIn 1855, tho aid of information derived from soldiers Buffering from vonereal discaso was sought, but. it was left optional with diseased prostitutes to outer tho hospitals or not. It was not till 18G1 that registration and systematic inspection were under Act XXII. of 18G1-, (Madras) Act Iand now established, of 18GG, and Act XIV. of 18G8, very elaborate rules have been framed for tho systematic prevention of vonereal di3ease. Still are very impcrfect, and Dr. Balfour refers partial failure to tho "evasion of registration by public prostitutes, tho insuff'*
cient enforcement of the "
rules, and clandestine prostitution." remarks, is only one part of the organiza"
tion for the control of venereal diseases, scheme must
the success of the
depend on the activity of the magistrate in discovering all prostitutes, bringing them on the register, and ensuring their regulnr attendance at the periodical examinations." This is profoundly true. Lock-hospitals, however perfect, are a mere sham as regards prevention of venereal disease, unless tho measures for detecting diseaso outside of them are ever
properly conducted. There were, in addition to the Sladras lockhospitals, eleven cantonment lock-hospitals in operations during 1871." They have, on the whole, done good under the new which lock-hospitals system. "At nearly all the stations at have been for some time in operation, the type of disease presenting has become milder, and secondary symptoms are said to be comparatively rare." The ratio per cent, of strength for venereal diseases among European troops in 1871 was 17'38, against 15 SI, 1872, 21*44, 18*48, 2W2, 20-44, and 26 93, in the seven preceding years, reading backwards. The results in different stations fluctuate much and it is obvious that tho system is still very
as in Bengal, imperfect. Dr.
Balfour expresses his belief that venereal diseases are decidedly seasonal. They are worse in the cold season, and may be, from seasonal causes, worse in one year than another.
This is, howrequire, for satisfactory solution, a very careful investigation and sifting of evidence. He also indicates the advantage of assigning to prostitutes a ever,
separate quarter, as in the times of Mahomedim supremacy, to facilitate the prevention of venereal disease.