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HH62/2/ROSS/5

Transcription

[Page] 4

"The inland portion of Ross-shire (the Lews) is composed
of crystalline gneiss and schist, with the exception of some small
patches of Torridon sandstone to the east of Stornoway. Boul-
der clay and other glacial deposits are spread over much of the
low-lying ground, and extensive areas are covered with peat.
"In like manner, the greater part of the united counties on
the mainland is composed of various types of crystalline gneiss
and schist.
"But to the west of a line drawn from Ullapool, by the head
of Loch Maree to Loch Kishorn, there is a great development
of Torridon sandstone, giving rise to the lofty mountains of
Coigach and Applecross. Overlying these sandstones we find
other ancient sediment snow forming quartzites and limestone.
Here and there along the western seaboard there are patches of
crystalline gneiss exposed, where the Torridon sandstone has
been worn away.
"Again, along the eastern margin of the County, between
Dornoch and Beauly Firths, there is a belt of Old Red Sand-
stone, forming the most fertile portion of the whole area.
"In all the valleys draining the eastern side of the main
watershed on the mainland there are extensive deposits of
boulder clay, moraines, and alluvial gravels. Similar deposits
are met with in the Old Red Sandstone areas, together with the
deposits belonging to the raised beaches."

Having made these general remarks we propose now to
consider more particularly the sanitary condition of the County
and its inhabitants under the following heads:-

(1) The want of knowledge of the laws of health, and
the best remedies for the same.
(2) The condition from a sanitary point of view of the
county generally, and the best means for improv-
ing the present state of things, more especially
of the villages and schools.
(3) The present supplies of drinking water, and how to
improve these both in quality and quantity.
(4) The state of the dwelling-houses of the poorer part

[Page] 5

of the population, especially those of the labour-
ing classes, and the most likely means of improve-
ment.
(5) The question of recommendations or bye-laws in con-
nection with labourers' houses, more especially as
applicable to new houses.
(6) Segregation of the sick (a) in their own houses, (b)
in hospitals.
(7) Sanitary inspection and disinfection.

Although the death rate in the County is comparatively
low, amounting, as we shall see when we come to look more
closely into the question, to about 16.5 per 1000, taking the
mean of three selected years; yet it does not follow that its
sanitary condition may not be greatly improved, or that the
resident population practise the laws of health. In fact there
are good reasons for believing the opposite, and we shall try to
show, without inquiring too minutely into the present state of
knowledge, at least at this stage, how best this deficiency can
be met. It may be well as a preliminary to point out why this
very important subject has not attracted more attention amongst
us, and how it is that on the whole the state of health with us
is good.
The first and chief reason for the average good health of our
community is undoubtedly the healthiness of the employments
of the great majority of the population, viz., farming and fish-
ing, and the absence of the many occupations deleterious to
health practiced in other places. The second may be set down to
the comparatively small amount of overcrowding. The third
is the fact that there is not the same grinding poverty as a rule
as is to be found in the large towns; and fourth, no doubt much
is due to the high standard of morality so creditable to the
Highlander. So much for the bright side of the picture; the
dark side is the want of personal cleanliness, the bad housing,
the carelessness as to purity of water supply, the ignorance as
to ventilation, proper clothing, avoidance of nuisances, and the
need for proper nursing, segregation, and disinfection of the
sick. On all these heads we shall have to enlarge as we pro

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