Correspondence relating to South African Concentration Camp, Dar-es-Salaam
To: DDMS, LofC, Dar-es-Salaam
From: MO Main Camps, Dar-es-Salaam
With reference to your minute No 152 C, I have to report as follows:-
I have held regular bi-weekly quinine parade for Troops in this Camp since ten days after the Camp was opened in October. The practice still continues.
The Camp site is unhealthy only as regards malaria, which is prevalent. Apart from minor complaints, the sick parade cosnists almost entirely of malaria and its complications.
I do not know whether the mosquite is more prevalent here than elsewhere in Dar-es-Salaam, since I have been camped here since my arrival in Dar-es-Salaam.
I have not identified any anophelines in the Camp. Breeding places and likely breeding places have been discovered on the foreshore near the camp. These have been dealt with by filling in, spraying with oil, and draining the foreshore where these springs have been discovered.
It is difficult to estimate the percentage of fresh cases of malaria that has occurred, but the percentage is certainly high.
With reference to the last question, I presume Col Molyneux refers to a batch of Infantry. I do not recall having to deal with these men. Many of the Infantry were quartered at that time at the Garrison Camp, and I have been informed that there was a high percentage of malaria there also.
(Sgd) AS Stewart,
Capt, SAMC, MO Main Camp
Dar-es-Salaam 1 December 1916
From: OC, SA Sanitation Corps, Dar-es-Salaam
To: DDMS, LofC, Dar-es-Salaam
Ref your minute of 29 ulto, No 15-2C re Main Camp, Dar-es-Salaam.
Query 1. Do you consider that the Camp is situated on a notoriously unhealthy site? Do you know any better site?
This Camp was selected by me in conjunction with the Base Commandant and the DIGC after several visits to this and other areas in Dar-es-Salaam.
The main reasons for selecting this particular area were:-
a) Adequate and good water supply within the Camp.
b) Well removed from Town and insanitary native areas.
c) Soil and sub-soil sandy and generally well drained.
d) Elevated position averaging 40 feet above sea-level.
e) Well aerated, owing to prevailing winds NE blowing in direction across the Camp.
f) Easy accessibility by road and sea.
g) Ample shade from cocoanut palm trees.
h) Soil free from jigger fleas and ticks as far as is known.
i) Ample and convenient bathing facilities.
Speaking from my personal knowledge, as Sanitation Officer in charge of Dar-es-Salaam since the occupation on September, my opinion is that no better site is, or was, available.
Query 2. Are mosquitoes more prevalent in the Camp than elsewhere in Dar-es-Salaam? Have you looked for and identified any anopheles in the Camp Area?
Owing to the comparative absence of breeding places, in my opinion, there are fewer mosquitoes in this area than in the rest of the Town.
Examination of pools and breeding places – samples of water being taken – have so far shewn no presence of ‘anophelines’; culicines are the only variety of mosquito identified.
Query 3. Do any pools or other potential mosquito breeding places exist in the vicinity of the Camp and if so, what steps have been taken to deal with them?
Some water holes exist in the neighbourhood of Camp on the foreshore near the main water supply. These have mostly been dug by natives to obtain water for washing purposes, despite the fact that ample water supply is available from tanks. These holes have been dealt with in various ways – filling in, spraying with paraffin, etc.
Query 4. Is the sanitation of the Camp generally satisfactory or otherwise?
The general sanitation of the Camp is satisfactory in main details, viz, water supply, disposal of excrement, refuse, etc, by incinerators provided, but owing to difficulties in obtaining native labour, the rapid increase of troops – and constant movement of same – it has been extremely difficult to deal with the Camp litter, and put it in a condition of tidiness.
(Sgd) P St Wilkinson
Major, SAMC, OC, SA Sanitation Corps
2 December 1916
3 December 1916
From: DDMS, LofC, Medical Headquarters
To: IGC, Dar-es-Salaam
In reply to your memo No A.YA/217/8 dated 28 November 1916, forwarding a copy of a complaint as to the sanitation of the SA Concentration Camp, from Lt-Col Molyneux, Commanding 6 South African Infantry.
I personally inspected the SA Concentration Camp on 29/11/1916, and found the sanitary condition to be most satisfactory. There are a few pools of water, supplied by springs, on the edge of the sea, south-east of the Camp, but they were being dealt with by means of kerosene oil, and no mosquito larvae were found in them. In only one place in the vicinity of the Camp did I find any mosquito larvae, viz: in a disused well near the pumping station – these larvae were all of the culex variety – I gave instructions to have this well satisfactorily dealt with.
2. I attach the reports of the Medical Officer in charge of the Camp and of the Officer Commanding South African Sanitation Corps. The only comments I have to make on these reports is that, in the absence of bacteriological confirmation of diagnosis, Capt Stewart’s statement regarding the incidence rate of freshly infected cases of malaria in the Camp can only be regarded as a statement of opinion – more especially in this case in view of the proved paucity, if not absence, of anopheles mosquitoes in the Camp. Cases of heat exhaustion fever, common amongst fresh arrivals in the tropics, are easily confounded with cases of malarial fever. The last paragraph of Capt Stewart’s letter refers to Col Molyneux’s statement that 77 out of 83 freshly arrived men became unfit after a month’s residence in the Camp.
3. The answers to the definite points raised by you are:-
i. Prophylactic quinine was issued to the troops in the Camp from 10 days after its inception.
ii. The Camp is in my opinion, and in the opinion of the OC, SA Sanitation Corps, the best site in Dar-es-Salaam.
iii. No anopheles mosquitoes have ever been identified from the Camp, despite repeated search. In fact, anopheles mosquitoes are difficult to find anywhere in Dar-es-Salaam at this time of the year.
iv. Several small pools of water do exist close to the Camp, but they are being dealt with, and no larvae were to be found in them on 29/11/1916.
4. In conclusion, I would point out that no place on this coast can be considered exactly a health resort, but I have no hesitation in stating emphatically that the site of the SA Concentration Camp here is as good a site as is to be found in the neighbourhood.
(sgd) RS Kennedy, Major IMS
DADMS, for DDMS, LofC