July 22, 1916

Health Conditions in British Somaliland

Author Affiliations

Newark, N. J. Statistician, the Prudential Insurance Company of America.

JAMA. 1916;LXVII(4):308. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02590040062021

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To the Editor:  —Through the courtesy of the medical officer of the Somaliland Protectorate, I have come in possession of the following interesting information regarding a section of Africa concerning which the available information is far from satisfactory and complete."Leprosy is of extreme rarity in British Somaliland, though the Somalis seem to have some traditional knowledge of it. I fancy any such patient would be killed for purposes of public safety anywhere in the interior. In this connection it is of interest that although sea fish of many varieties are plentiful all along the coast, no Somalis will eat them, though the Arabs, Indians and Europeans do. There is no reason for this beyond custom, which is of a strength unknown among western nations."Malignant diseases, cancer and sarcoma of all varieties are practically unknown. In the course of twelve years I have only had one case and that

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