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Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.

1899VA-State-Hampton_Proceedings (30).pdf

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29

cy. Infected parents beget sickly children, and the natural results are either weak anaemic, premature, or stillborn children. When these infected children pass through the trials of dentition they are in no condition to withstand the trying ordeal of youthful exposure and indiscretion, -- hence they easily succumb to the ravages of tuberculosis and marasmus. Please remember that scrofulosis is only a type of tuberculosis. Observance of proper diet will cause a decrease in convulsions, which produce 375.00 per cent of excess death rate. Illegitimacy must be reduced. Still births result from lax moral laws and unhealthy conditions. Our women must be protected during the trying period of gestation and parturition. Today I reiterate what was said a year ago. Remove the causes and vital statistics will show marked improvement in the next five years. The Negro can reduce this death rate by the observance of sanitary laws and by personal purity. We must remember that if we sow to the wind we shall reap the whirlwind. Vicious habits, intemperance, licentiousness, gambling -- each and all are conducive to a high mortuary list. Teachers of Negro youth have the most important part to play in this social economic problem. Teach the youth that the penalty for breaking the sanitary laws is death, sooner or later. Teach them to keep their homes in good condition, to examine the water supply, the kind of milk used, to be particular what kind of food is used and how it is prepared. Teach them to shun all kinds of infection, and to be careful as to cups, pencils, books, and other things liable to communicate disease germs. No race can be strong unless the children are healthy, and that the children may be healthy, parents must be pure. Modern education will demand more rigid inspection of schools as well as daily examination of each child,--thus reducing contagious diseases to a minimum.

When these facts are brought to the attention of the children in the public schools all over the country; when the parents are instructed through their children to observe certain health laws; when society shall be regulated that each person strives to have at his home perfect sanitary conditions--then the race will be using the remedies which alone can reduce the alarming condition as depicted in the health reports from all parts of the country. Hopeful outlook for the future is due to the fact that colored physicians are locating in different parts of the country; they are alive to the alarming statistics and will strive to reduce the death rate by skillful treatment at the bedside and by individual instruction to members of the family as to the laws of

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