Sanitation vs. Vaccination quotes
[back] Sanitation  [back] Poverty

See: Leicester

About 1.2 billion people still have no access to safe drinking water, and 2.4 billion do not have adequate sanitation services. Some 2 million children die every year from water-related diseases. (Ref)

J.T. Biggs

Such observations confirm the statement of Sir Henry Littlejohn, of Edinburgh, who told the Congress at Exeter that the medical profession had all along shown the strongest opposition to sanitary reform. This declaration provoked indignant protests, but Sir Henry retorted that they knew it was true, and it ought to be made known. Of course, Sir Henry spoke as a Medical Officer of Health. LEICESTER: SANITATION versus VACCINATION BY J.T. BIGGS J.P.

The East End at the time was one grim slum. In 1888, Whitechapel had 233 common lodging houses, accommodating 8530 people, with an average of 37 people in each. Sanitation was nonexistent, inadequate, or remained unused through ignorance. There were 62 known brothel houses and a similar number of unknown brothels. There were an estimated 1200 prostitutes and a similar number who resorted to casual prostitution to make ends meet. Whitechapel was an immigrant brothel slum given to any and every vice: “. . . death from starvation was commonplace, and 55 per cent of children died before the age of five.” (Daniel Farson, Limehouse Days, p. 59.) Stalin's British Training by Greg Hallett 

"The town of Leicester rejected vaccination in favour of sanitation. Her experience during the past fifty years makes nonsense of the claims of the pro-vaccinists. When her population was thoroughly vaccinated she suffered severely from smallpox. As vaccination declined to one per cent of the infants born, smallpox disappeared altogether."---- Lilly Loat [Book 1951] The Truth About Vaccination and Immunization

[2005] In Sub-Saharan African about 60 percent of the population lives and dies without safe drinking water, adequate food or basic sanitation. .....The report describes “heaps of unclaimed garbage” among the crowded houses in the flood zones and “countless pools of water [that] provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes and create a dirty environment that favors cholera.”
    “[L]atrines are built above water streams. During rains the area residents usually open a hole to release feces from the latrines. The rain then washes away the feces to streams, from where the [area residents] fetch water. However, not many people have access to toilet facilities. Some defecate in polythene bags, which they throw into the stream.” They call these, “flying toilets.’’
    The state-run Ugandan National Water and Sewerage Corporation states that currently 55% of Kampala is provided with treated water, and only 8% with sewage reclamation.
    Most rural villages are without any sanitary water source. People wash clothes, bathe and dump untreated waste up and downstream from where water is drawn. Watering holes are shared with animal populations, which drink, bathe, urinate and defecate at the water source. Unmanaged human waste pollutes water with infectious and often deadly bacteria. Stagnant water breeds mosquitoes, which bring malaria. Infectious diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, TB, malaria and famine are the top killers in Africa. But in 1985, they became AIDS.
    The public service announcements that run on VH1 and MTV, informing us of the millions of infected, always fail to mention this. I don’t know what we’re supposed to do with the information that 40 million people are dying and nothing can be done. I wonder why we wouldn’t be interested in building wells and providing clean water and sewage systems for Africans. Given our great concern, it would seem foolish not to immediately begin the “clean water for Africa” campaign. But I’ve never heard such a thing mentioned.
    The UN recommendations for Africa actually demand the opposite –“billions of dollars” taken out of “social funds, education and health projects, infrastructure [and] rural development” and “redirected” into sex education (UNAIDS, 1999). No clean water, but plenty of condoms. ----The Hidden Face of HIV – Part 1 By Liam Scheff

Mr. Alfred Milnes, M.A., in his masterly paper, printed in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Vol. LX., Part III., September, 1897, shows conclusively that the reduction in infant mortality is entirely due to improved sanitation, children being peculiarly susceptible to the effect of insanitary conditions. He has extracted from the 45th and 55th Reports of the Registrar-General the annual average death-rate per million living in the decade 1871-80 and in the decade 1881-90. For the towns of Whitechapel and Hampstead, averaging these two decades, it appears that the mortality for all ages is about 7,300 per million living greater in Whitechapel than in Hampstead, while for those under five years old the mortality of Whitechapel is about 37,500 per million living more than the mortality in Hampstead, showing that the conditons adverse to life in Whitechapel are in the case of infants under five years five times more fatal than they are upon the population taken as a whole. These figures show that improved sanitation is quite sufficient to account for the reduced fatality from small-pox in children. [1921] Vaccination and the State By Arnold Lupton MP.

This evidence is sufficient to show that the epidemic of 1885 was not due to want of Vaccination. The fact is, parts of Montreal were in a very filthy condition. The French-Canadian paper Le Monde said, referring to the sewers: "The proof that they are in a bad state is that the stench from the street gullies in certain parts of the city is so powerful as to create nausea in passers by."   On the 25th November, 1885, Montreal correspondent of the Toronto Mail wrote: " The three Wards of St. Mary, St. James, and St. Lewis have contributed about 90 per cent, of the deaths throughout. It is in these wards that the 10,000 cesspools exist which breed the small-pox and other epidemics which help to fill up the mortality reports of the city."  On the 25th November, 1885, the Montreal Herald reported an interview with Dr. Garceau of Boston, Mass., who said, referring to the epidemic of small-pox: " I attribute the chief cause to the frightful system of cesspits."  Since that time Montreal has greatly improved its sanitary condition, with the consequent diminution of disease. Mulhall gave the general death-rate in that town during the years 1878-1880 as 37 per thousand. The English Registrar-General gave the death-rate for the years 1906-1910 at a little over 22 per thousand. Probably more recent figures will show a still lower death-rate. [1921] Vaccination and the State By Arnold Lupton MP.

"IT is true that since 1872 there have been outbreaks of small-pox in Leicester, but, in each instance, the disease has not only been imported from well "protected" localities, but, as usually happens, these outbreaks started with well vaccinated or revaccinated cases. Two of those invasions—viz., in 1892-94 and 1902-04—resulted in what were termed "epidemics." Notwithstanding the fact that well vaccinated communities were also attacked, and suffered to a far worse degree than Leicester, the strong and definite attitude it has taken against vaccination made the town once more the target of innumerable venomous shafts from the pro-vaccinists.
    They appeared to have overlooked the fact that in 1871-73, with nominally all the inhabitants vaccinated, 360 small-pox deaths occurred in a population of about 98,000, being a death-rate of 3,673 per million living. Whereas, in " unpro­tected " Leicester, in 1892-94, there were only 21 small-pox deaths in a population of about 182,000, being only 115 per million living ; and in 1902-04 there were only 30 small-pox deaths in a popula­tion of about 220,000, or only 136 per million living."----J.T. BIGGS J.P. (1912 BOOK--LEICESTER: SANITATION versus VACCINATION)

Leicester has furnished, both by precept and example, irrefutable proof of the capability and influence of Sanitation, not only in combating and controlling, but also in practically banishing infectious diseases from its midst. This affirmation is subject to certain qualifications. The effects of narrow, ill-conditioned streets; of imperfect drainage and improper dwellings; of circumstances of environment; and of inherited physical disability must, and will for a time, continue. These adverse elements are being gradually eliminated. Apart from those drawbacks, a town newly planned on the most up-to-date principles of space and air, and adopting the "Leicester Method" of Sanitation, could bid defiance not to smallpox only, but to other infectious, if not to nearly all zymotic, diseases. Even for small-pox, not even the merest tyro among Jennerian votaries would now venture to claim, that vaccination could achieve all that sanitation has accomplished. This is self-evident, because even pro-vaccinists, of the most pronounced type, now supplement the Jennerian operation with the "Leicester Method" of dealing with the disease. They dare not, as aforetime, trust solely to vaccination. To do so would, on their part, be culpable, if not in the highest degree criminal, neglect. LEICESTER: SANITATION versus VACCINATION BY J.T. BIGGS J.P.

The Leicester Anti-Vaccination League was formed in 1869. The stalwart little band of pioneers, numbering less than twenty persons, laboured on, until they grew numerically to such an extent that, whereas in 1867 over 94 per cent. of the children born were vaccinated, in 1897 only 1.3 per cent, of the infants were subjected to the trying ordeal. And that low percentage of vaccinations in the last-mentioned year was arrived at in spite of—and perhaps, to some extent, as the natural outcome of—many thousands of prosecutions against defaulters. These were instituted under the oppressive Act of 1867, and resulted in the infliction of fines, the levying of distress warrants, and the commitment of parents to prison. Obviously, those figures demonstrate that the people of Leicester were following the lead of the Anti-Vaccination League, and that not one class only, but all sections of the townspeople, were equally resolute in their opposition and detestation of the hateful legal enactments.
    The experience of the terrible smallpox epidemic of 1871-73, when many thousands of vaccinated persons contracted the disease, and several hundreds died as the result of the alleged "protection" (!) having lamentably failed in its hour of trial, produced in the minds of the thinking people of Leicester pronounced hostility against the blood-polluting quackery, which was found to be more baneful in its ultimate results than the disease it was supposed to prevent.

"I am myself perfectly convinced that all zymotic diseases arise from and are intensified by insanitary conditions and surroundings; that the abolition of the latter is the only radical method of stamping out this class of disease, that to put out one by a special prophylactic, while the conditions which produce all abound, is as illogical as it is impracticable; and that further, when that prophylactic is fraught with risk which, though it may be small, is yet not certainly avoid able, compulsory vaccination becomes cruel as well as ineffectual."---W. J. COLLINS, M.D., B.S., B.Sc. (Lond.) M.R.C.S 1883

"Sanitation did for Prussia what 35 years of compulsory vaccination was unable to accomplish. At the present time in Prussia small-pox is almost extinct. (Cheers.) It is not that people ‘are being vaccinated more; they are vaccinated less."----Dr Hadwen MD  (The Case Against Vaccination ---an address at Gloucester on  Saturday, January 25th, 1896, during the Gloucester Smallpox Epidemic)

"According to Sir Edwin Chadwick, Dr. B. W. Richardson, and all other sanitarians of repute, small-pox is a disease due to insanitary conditions, impure water, bad drainage, dirty living,. and particularly to overcrowding; and, instead of removing these conditions, the Governments of India during the past thirty years have been spending their, energies, and large sums of money, in extending vaccination."--William Tebb  (1893 Book: LEPROSY AND VACCINATION)

"No fact, no circumstance, no experience supports the conclusion that were vaccination able to abolish small-pox, the death-rate would be lowered in the least, so long as insanitary conditions prevail. And, in fine, if sanitation prevailed, the very raison d'etre for vaccination, to say nothing of compulsion, would be ever­lastingly destroyed."---William J. Collins, M.D., B.S., B.Sc. (1883,  Sir Lyon Playfair's Logic)

"So that it would seem to be a just conclusion from the foregoing that vaccination is inoperative in the absence of sanitation and superfluous in its presence; that if you could put out one zymotic disease by vaccination, people would die at the same rate as before, unless you abolish all by universal sanitation."---William J. Collins, M.D., B.S., B.Sc. (1883,  Sir Lyon Playfair's Logic)

"Moreover, smallpox being a foreign contagious skin disease lurking in congenial haunts, it would be quite according to precedent that it should one day cease absolutely in a community where sanitary progress had advanced so far as to take the ground from under the feet of the pestilence; such absolute cessation would have no more necessary connexion with almost universal vaccination than the alternating quiescence and recrudescence of epidemics have been connected with each new Act of Parliament. The epidemic of 1871-72 was one of the worst in the whole history of European smallpox; and it may be that it was one of the last flickers of a slowly expiring flame.  The universal practice of cowpoxing, however, is based upon the assumption that this contagious skin disease imported from the tropics is a thing that Europe must reckon with for an indefinite time. On the other hand, the teaching of epidemiology is that a foreign pestilence never stays unless it finds quarters suited to its existence, and that it may even take its departure capriciously, as in the case of the plague, after it has had a certain career, or on being displaced by some congener such as typhus. Vaccination is considered to have turned smallpox in great part aside from the early years of life and thrown it more than ever upon the later ages, while measles and other maladies proper to childhood have at the same time increased (See Farr, Reg. Gen. Report for 1867, p. 213: "To operate on mortality, protection against every one of the fatal zymotic diseases is required; otherwise the suppression of one disease-element opens the way to another" (p. 219). He quotes Watt (1813) to show that the decrease of smallpox mortality among infants in Glasgow from 1783 to 1812 was balanced by a great increase in the infantine deaths from measles. See also Guy, Journ. Statist. Soc., 1882, p. 430.)."---Dr. Charles Creighton M.A., M.D.  Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1888

Walene James:  "Dr Campbell discovered smallpox was caused by the bite of a bedbug..and the degree of severity of the disease was directly proportional to the cachexia (general ill health and malnutrition) of the patient...He spoke of "scorbutic cachexia" relating it to scurvy, "the disease caused by lack of green food" and said "the removal of this perversion of nutrition will so mitigate the virulence of this malady as positively to prevent the pitting or pocking of smallpox." (Immunization p54.  Bacteria Inc by Cash Asher 1949).

"There is no question but that perfect sanitation has almost obliterated this disease, and sooner or later will dispose of it entirely. Of course, when that time comes, in all probability the credit will be given to vaccination."--John Tilden MD

" a filth disease, that its microzymas grow in morbid soil only and that the smallpox eruptions are a sign of rapid elimination of hereditary and acquired disease traits. "--Henry Lindlahr M.D.

"Noticing the class of people among whom the disease is most fatal, I was led to the conclusion that the cause in most cases was dirt, and that vaccination was powerless to prevent it. I found that where there was most overcrowding there smallpox was most prevalent. The worst case I have ever seen occurred three weeks after re-vaccination."--- Dr Allinson 

"WE have for some time past been hearing of the epidemic of smallpox in Capetown, and of the vigorous measures adopted to enforce vaccination and isolation, but we have heard little of the sanitary condition of the place. From an article in the Cape Times, however, we obtain the following information
    Capetown is buying its experience at a heavy price. Fifty thousand pounds spent on a reservoir that will not hold water is a lesson that should not require to be repeated. Pestilence abounding (for we have it in many forms), the fruit of long-continued filth and neglect, scarcity of water, foul, unkempt, "unlovely" streets, seas of mud in the winter and hurricanes of dust in the summer— worst of all, a population ignorant as Arctic bears of sanitary principles, dead in a large proportion to the commonest instincts of decency. We have taken very busily to flushing, scouring, and quarantining, and making such atonement as is possible for past neglect and apathy. But too late; the retribution has come, as come it must, when ever the plain dictates of common sense and the laws of Nature are persistently violated. There is a very large element in the population of Capetown that exists only to propagate dirt, and in this they move and have their being. They make dirt as silkworms spin cocoons. They are dirty by instinct, dirty by habit, and, alas! dirty by necessity. With instinct, habit, and necessity constraining them, how can they be otherwise? Whole quarters of the town have for a long time been so abandoned to dirt, that only an earthquake could efface the evil effects on soil and atmosphere; and only if the earthquake should swallow up the inhabitants would there be some hope for these localities in the future. But let the truth be realised; a people born, bred, and educated in dirt will bear fruit after their kind. Spite of sanitary inspectors and municipal codes, they will be dirty; they will conquer all with dirt, and subdue the very sky to its influence. There is but one way, we believe, of overcoming this destructive element, and that is by a process of sap and mine. Habits must be changed. The dirt-loving must be made dirt-hating. There are elements in our population that are not easily impressed and even approached. But we decline to believe the thing impossible, and it ought to be tried. Capetown must go from bad to worse if sanitary regulations are not more strictly enforced; for its population is increasing, its open spaces are diminishing, and the foes to health are augmenting in proportion."----- CONDITION OF CAPETOWN. Vaccination Inquirer 1883. Vol 5, p15

[Report by Dr. Airy in Supplement to 11th Annual Report of the Local Government Board.]
    "A. house, rented at £6, stands in a flat swampy meadow, liable to be flooded. It is approached by a causeway of faggots laid across the swamp. Two rooms on the ground floor, and two above. One of the lower rooms is a damp, cold, dirty room that serves as scullery, rubbish-hole, and slop sink. Slops are emptied at one corner of this room where a hollow has been excavated in the rough brick floor, communicating, by a large hole broken through the base of the wall, with a corresponding hollow in the mud outside, whence the filth soaks away through the surrounding grass and its own accumulated sediment. In this room nine persons slept! A loose-made door opens directly into the shed where sheep, more or less diseased, were kept. The mother had been already attended for typhus and puerperal fever in this same house! A cattle shed also adjoins the cottage. Eight persons had smallpox, and two died. Very defective drainage reported. The stinking carcasses of two sheep lay near the cottage at the time the small-pox was in the house."….not one of the inmates appears to have been unvaccinated!"---OUTBREAK OF SMALLPOX AT BOURNE BRIDGE.  Vaccination Inquirer 1883. Vol 5, p15

"What neighbourhoods do they visit? The filthiest. What towns do they select? Those where sanitary conditions are the most neglected. Note the last small-pox epidemic, and take Leeds as an example. Who were the victims? The very lowest classes of society, children that were filthy, neglected, and ill fed, others living in houses that were overcrowded, destitute of proper ventilation, and in courts and alleys where sanitation is a term unknown; adults who are tramps, drunkards, prostitutes, men and women without homes, wanderers,—with a very modest sprinkling of the very lowest sections of the working classes; these formed 7-10ths of the patients who passed through the hospital of the Leeds Union, and these are the very self-same people, resident in the same houses, streets, and neighbourhoods, who would have fallen the first victims to any other epidemic which had sprung up. If they had not yielded to the small-pox they would have succumbed to scarlet fever, typhoid, or the like. If the unsanitary surroundings are there, and the physically deteriorated in health within reach, then the conditions for producing an epidemic are present, and the result cannot fail to be disastrous. The strong and healthy do not take the small-pox. If we divide Leeds in the centre due north and south, nearly all the cases occurred in the eastern half of the town,—the healthiest half, the western, was free from the scourge. Belgravia and May Fair had no small-pox, but there was plenty of it in the narrow streets and the courts and alleys situate in the east of London. Again, our healthiest towns, such as Leamington, Cheltenham, Brighton, Hastings, and Scarbro', had little or no small-pox during the recent epidemic, whilst Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, and similar large centres of industry suffered severely. Do not these facts confirm our previously expressed opinions that small-pox is a filth-disease, and like all filth-diseases, of the zymotic order, the only protection is in general and wide-spread cleanliness?"---JNO. PICKERING, F.S.S., F.R.G.S. [1876. THE STATISTICS OF THE MEDICAL OFFICERS TO THE LEEDS SMALL-POX HOSPITAL EXPOSED AND REFUTED]