november / 15

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)

15th November, 1901 : The death rate in the refugee camps for Boer families in South Africa is still rising, especially among children, but urgent action is under way to improve conditions, according to an official report published today in London. The effect of a severe measles epidemic sweeping through the camps have been worsened by what the report calls the insanitary habits of many refugees and the refusal of Boer mothers to accept medical advice. The military governor is quoted as saying the mothers insist on treating their children’s measles with tea made of goat’s dung, “with deplorable results”.

[ The estimates of deaths of Boer women and children in the British concentration camps wary from 27,000 to 35,000.]

About Avadoro Worden

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