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Health Conditions in the Pacific Islands
Throughout the whole of Melanesia there are three almost universally prevalent diseases, filariasis, frambesia, (yaws) and hookworm infestation. Malaria is present in northern Melanesia (Papua, New Guinea and Solomon Islands) but is absent in the southern half, which includes Fiji, New Caledonia and the New Hebrides. Leprosy is prevalent to an enormous extent in southern Melanesia. Tuberculosis and other respiratory infections are relatively widespread in the neighborhood of white settlements. Bacillary dysentery is mildly endemic in most parts. Gonorrhea is prevalent in areas where laborers have returned from indenture.The popular idea that the reaction of the native races to European contact results in a process of depopulation is considered by the mission to require qualification. The average infant mortality rate in malarious districts is 176.24 per thousand births during the first year of life, while in malaria-free islands the rate is 158.3. The
AUSTRALIA. JAMA. 1931;96(10):788–790. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720360058022
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