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                                    CALCUTTA AND THE SUBURBS.                                 xvii

The retention of a permanent establishment of vaccinators is an unavoidable necessity.
Without a permanent establishment of trained vaccinators it is impossible to work an
impromptu establishment during the vaccinating season safely and profitably ; with a trained
establishment, however, the case is different, and a certain number of new men can be adequately
supervised and made to work so efficiently as to return a fair equivalent for the cost entailed
by their entertainment.

The existence of such a temporary establishment is of considerable importance as a
training school and recruiting ground for the permanent establishment, and will give to
the whole Vaccine Department an amount of life and elasticity that is much needed.

On my first assuming charge of the department, one great difficulty to be contended
against was the one of discharging a vaccinator. The detriment to the annual season's work
caused by getting rid of a single vaccinator was so great as to render it a very serious step
to discharge him, however desirable it might be to do so. In this way, an idle, careless, it
may be a partially incompetent man if he knew anything of vaccination, was often
retained simply because, however bad he might be, he was superior to an untrained recruit.
Such an undesirable state of matters can be at once got over by having a temporary establish-
ment, in which candidates for employment can year by year learn their duties and show
their fitness for permanent employ. While working in this way, a very tolerable estimate
of the honesty, sobriety and industry of the extra vaccinators can be formed, and the perma-
nent establishment can be placed in the advantageous position of having men of known
character who understand something of vaccination to recruit from as vacancies occur in
its ranks.

Position in which the work was carried on.

17. In arranging for the three new circles of vaccination round Calcutta, permanent districts
have not yet been assigned to the Superintendents.
It is not quite clear how much work they will be
able to overtake, and what extent of country they will be able to keep vaccinated. Till some
near approximation is arrived at of what can be effected by the staff of each of the circles, it
would be difficult so to arrange them that the circles would co-operate in such a way that
the part protected by each would support those overtaken by the others, and thus mutually
be of use the one to the other in excluding small-pox. For the present it has been arranged
so to employ the staff as to enable it to fulfil the urgent consideration of protecting Calcutta
from small-pox, and while thus conducing to the safety of the city, guarding the country
immediately in its neighbourhood from the danger of being constantly exposed to receive
small-pox from Calcutta when the epidemic raged in that centre of population. With this
view, though the circles have been kept quite distinct, the united force of the three circles
has been brought to bear upon the protection of the strip of the Hooghly district lying contigu-
ous to the river and rail. These two chief lines of communication with Calcutta have been
so far protected as to lessen the chance of sending small-pox from the Hooghly district by such
a large extent as might be roughly represented by any high figure approaching 75 per cent.
The barrier thus thrown up between the metropolis and small-pox is a most efficient one;
but as soon as the staff of one or more of the circles can he spared for the purpose, the work will
be so carried on as to increase the protected tract till it has an average width of 25 miles.
A part of the third circle was worked during a considerable portion of the season in
the 24-Pergunnahs to the south of Calcutta, in places in the neighbourhood of those where
vaccination had been carried on last year.

As will be detailed in the next paragraph, small parties of vaccinators had also to be
detached on special duties.


Work overtaken by each circle.

18. This year the vaccinators belonging to this circle worked along the line of rail from
Howrah up to the Mugrah Station on the East
Indian Railway.

It overtook a tract of country about 30 miles long and about 8 miles in breadth,
having an area of some 240 square miles.

In this tract of country the vaccinators worked in 537 villages.

Besides. this, in consequence of small-pox having been reported as prevalent in some
villages near Dum-Dum in the Ooriaparrah Thannah, some of the vaccinators belonging to this
circle were sent to work in and around the infected villages, and soon succeeded in stamping
out the disease.


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