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Title: Helminthiasis in the Egyptian army
Author: Spence, Basil Hamilton Hebden
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1924
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1. 14% of the soldiers treated in the Egyptian Army General Hospital, Cairo, in 1923 were admitted primarily for parasitic worm infestation. 2. 29% of the men invalided in 1923 from the same hospital were invalided for the effects of chronic infestation with parasitic worms. 3. Large numbers of “fit“ men in the Egyptian Army suffer constantly from signs and symptoms of parasitic worm infestation without feeling ill enough to report sick. 4. The Egyptian soldier is notoriously lacking in resistance to the adversities of military service in a bad climate. There is every reason to believe that this is the direct result of his constitution having been undermined by chronic infestation with parasitic worms. 5. 91% of a batch of 292 recruits for the Police School, Abbassia, Egypt, were found to be infested with parasitic worms, some harbouring as many as four kinds. 73% had ankylostomiasis, 52% schistosomiasis, 7% ascariasis, and 3% other infestations. 6. The 212 ankylostomiasis cases were treated with a single dose of 5 cc. of carbon tetrachloride. 3 months later 79% were found to have been completely cured. For efficacy, ease of administration, mildness of after effects, safety and cheapness carbon tetrachloride is incomparably the best anthelminthic yet discovered for the treatment of ankylostomiasis amongst Egyptians. 7. The 152 schistosomiasis cases were treated with 21 grs. of antimony sodium tartarate divided into 12 doses given by intravenous injections given on alternate days. Of the 132 who were available for re-examination 3 months later, 95% were found to have been completely cured. By amplifying the dose on the lines indicated it is probable that 100% of cures could be obtained in these comparatively lightly infested healthy looking recruits. Cure depends upon finding the limit of saturation the patient can tolerate and maintaining it till all the worms are dead. Antimony sodium tartarate merely kill the worms; it cannot be expected to repair hopelessly damaged tissues. 8. Of a batch of 55 recruits 46 with normal hearts suffered no harm from a full course of antimony sodium tartarate, and underwent training during their course of treatment. 9 who showed evidence of more or less serious derangement of the heart became worse in spite of treatment. As they were also undergoing training the presumption is that the progressive failure of these already deranged hearts was due to the effects of training, and not of the medicine. The derangement of the heart found in 16% of recruits is probably the outcome of chronic toxaemia; one would expect such hearts to exhibit some degree of fatty degeneration postmortem. 9. The hearts of all recruits should be subjected to a simple exercise test. Recruits whose heart show signs of derangement should be rejected. 10.76% of the 1923 winter call of recruits for the army, picked fellahin with every superficial appearance of perfect health, were found to be suffering from parasitic worm infestation, 59% having ankylostomiasis and 40% schistosomiasis. 11. 68% of soldiers serving in Cairo were found to be harbouring parasitic worms, 59% having ankylostomiasis and 40% schistosomiasis. 12. 21% of officer cadets were found to be suffering from parasitic worm infestation, 3% having ankylostomiasis and 13% schistosomiasis. 13. Treatment of these men^w&e carried out as far as possible immediately after diagnosis, resulted in a very high percentage of cures. 14. A complete case has been made out on grounds of expediency no less than of humanity for the immediate application of the methods of mass diagnosis and treatment to the rest of the Egyptian Army, and for the routine examination and treatment of all recruits in future, before they join their units, on the lines indicated in this Thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available