§ LORD TEVIOT
asked His Majesty's Government what is the number of cases of malaria fever incurred by troops and others in West Africa in the last two years, and what steps are being taken to deal with the present unsatisfactory situation.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE)
My Lords, I regret that it is not possible to give statistics showing the number of cases of malaria amongst the Services in West Africa, nor are there any figures at present available for the civilian populations which would give a true picture of the position. The prosecution of anti-malarial work is constantly being undertaken by the West African Governments, but war conditions necessarily involved a substantial reinforcement of this work, particularly in regard to shipping and Service personnel. At the Secretary of State's request Professor Blacklock, of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, visited Freetown in 1940 to examine and advise generally on the adequacy of the antimalarial measures being undertaken there. The Liverpool School have a special interest in this work, and at one time Professor Blacklock was in charge of the Sir Alfred Jones Research Laboratory at Freetown. He reported to the Secretary of State in 1941, but many of the recommendations which he then made had already been acted upon. Professor Blacklock has recently returned from a second visit to West Africa, where he has again surveyed the anti-malarial measures in progress, and has examined the work which has been carried out since his previous visit. Although it has not yet been possible for him to submit a report, I understand that he is satisfied that a great deal has been done by both the civil and military authorities, and that the position in regard to the occurrence of malaria has much improved.
Dr. Bruce Wilson, of the Rockefeller Foundation, is also at present visiting West Africa and will be given every opportunity of seeing, and commenting on, the antimalarial measures in force there, in the light of his own experience as Chief Field Officer in the Foundation's recent campaign in Brazil to eliminate the anopheles 791WA mosquito, which is also the predominant species in West Africa. I would add that for nearly two years a special investigation, financed by a grant from United Kingdom funds, has been proceeding in regard to this mosquito in British Tropical Africa, with particular reference to methods of control.