sarf.120321

First publication page
Title Swastha-Samachar
Document Type Journal
Language Bengali

Documents available for this title

Volume V

Volume VI

Volume VII

Commentary

Started in 1319 B.S. (1912), Swastha Samachar was one of the few Bengali journals on public health and medicine in colonial Bengal. The journal intended to provide its readers with detailed information about health and hygiene – environment, diseases, prevention and cure of diseases, temperance, medicine, treatment procedures, and the hospital system. Swastha Samachar published informative notes, articles, commentaries, reports, book information, and letters to the editor and their responses. A few regular sections also appeared in the journal. These were: ‘Alochona’ (Discussion); ‘Prerita Patra’ (Sent Letters); ‘Bibidha Sangraha’ (Various Collections); ‘Khadya o Pathya’ (Food and Diet); and ‘Prapti Swikar’ (Acknowledgement of Receipt).

The contributors to the journal came mostly from the rank of doctors and medical practitioners. They included Rakhal Chandra Nag, Gyanendranath Singha, Surendranath Bhattacharya, Satyasaran Chakraborty, Nabin Chandra Dutta, Rajendra Kumar Ghosh, Mokhkhoda Charan Bhattacharya, Basanta Kumar Chaudhury, Rajendra Kumar Sengupta, Surendra Chandra Bakshi, and Chunilal Basu. The themes covered were: the uses of indigenous medicine, misconceptions about the uses of drugs, child-rearing, the nutritive value of vegetables and fruits, medical colleges, the deterioration of public health at certain places, the problems of addictions like smoking and drinking, child education, treatment of snake bite, pregnancy, the health hazards of students, fasting and its value, and medical education for women. Diseases and physical conditions that were dealt with included malaria, bacteria, cholera, hooping cough, constipation, indigestion, typhoid, influenza, and plague. Articles on the health situation in villages and rural society were prominent in the journal.

Other related topics covered by the journal were water scarcity and district boards; the growth of Ayurvedic education; the health situation of the students of Calcutta; the distribution of quinine to prevent malaria; and so on. The journal also published reports of government bodies such as the Calcutta Municipal Corporation on public health and medicine. The reports highlighted different aspects of public health such as hospitals and charitable medical services in Bengal and the improvement of public health in Calcutta. A large number of letters were sent to the journal’s editor with a wide range of queries on health, hygiene and medicine. The journal used to promptly respond to the queries.

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