THE congress consisted of nine sections and two subsections. The first section discussed the relationship of germs and parasites to disease, and considered such diseases as infantile paralysis and hook-worm disease, and other topics less familiar, though no less important, to the layman. The second section, Dietetic Hygiene and Hygienic Physiology, was devoted quite largely to physiology, and so far as a hygiene congress is concerned, most of the papers considered in the section were of only academic interest.
Another and important section was that devoted to the Hygiene of Infancy and Childhood, and School Hygiene, and under this was the subsection on Mental Hygiene, to which was devoted only one forenoon, though the general interest in the subject indicates that in future congresses it may be thought advisable to devote an entire section to this topic.
The fourth section, Hygiene of Occupations, or, as we sometimes call it, industrial hygiene, received attention commensurate with its importance.
The fifth section, on the Control of Infectious Diseases, while apparently over-lapping the work of section one, in reality dealt with the administrative features, the what-to-do and how-to-do-it, whereas the work of the first section was rather in the nature of a laboratory inquiry into bacteria, serums, vaccines, and the like.
The sixth section, State and Municipal Hygiene, as its name would indicate, had to do with the work of the health officers.
The seventh section related to the somewhat neglected but very important subject of the Hygiene of Traffic and Transportation. It dealt with the sanitation of cars, and the prevention of the transmission of infection by rail or water.
The eighth section, on Military, Naval, and Tropical Hygiene, was related to the problem of making inhabitable those parts of the earth which have in the past been familiarly known, because of their extreme unhealthfulness, ,as “the white man’s grave,” and of improving the sanitary conditions wherever our men may be sent. This section represented the work we have done and are now doing in Panama, in the Philippines, in Porto Rico, and the South, and what we have done in Cuba, to make all these countries more inhabitable.
Section nine had to do with vital statistics. In this section was considered the importance of adequate laws providing for the compulsory reporting of all births, deaths, etc., without which it is impossible to prepare adequate statistics, and to compile figures from which to study the effects en masse of various conditions of living. It is a matter not to be proud of that the United States is behind all other civilized nations in the matter of its vital statistics. In this respect, we stand on a level with Turkey and China. It is true that a certain proportion of States have adequate registration laws, and the statistics from this registration area are valuable as far as they go; but every State should have such laws.