digital file Black & White Sound 1941 11:02
Summary: This film explains with some simple diagrams the nature of diphtheria, tells how the anti-toxin was discovered and shows parents the part they must play in protecting their children. 2 segments.
Title number: 18158
Description: Segment 1 Opening credits. A doctor visits a young girl and takes a swab sample to see if she has diphtheria. The girl is taken in an ambulance to the 'fever hospital'. The narrator explains that every year 3000 children die from diphtheria in the UK. He explains that diphtheria is spread by germs, and an animation shows a germ entering a young girl's throat. The germ multiples, irritating her throat and creating a membrane. This may block the throat completely, necessitating a hole cut in the windpipe. A child with a cut windpipe is shown in hospital. An animation shows diphtheria toxin in the bloodstream. This can weaken the muscle of the heart. Children are seen in hospital being cared for by nurses. The narrator explains antitoxin, naturally produced in the body to fight the toxin. An animation shows this, and the narrator uses the example of a dockleaf being used to treat a nettle sting to explain the way the antitoxin works. He also says that it is better to prevent the disease than treat it once it occurs. 4 out of 5 adults are naturally immune, having encountered germs and built up a natural defence. A Schick test is shown being carried out on two men to see if they are immune. One man is immune, the other is not. The narrator says that 3 to 15-year-olds are most at risk. A brief history of research into a vaccination against diphtheria is given, from Dr von Behring's research in 1893 to an antitoxin being produced in a laboratory. Scientists are shown in a laboratory producing the harmless 'toxoid' vaccine. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:06:51:01 Length: 00:06:51:01 Segment 2 An expert lectures to a room of students about a successful immunisation programme in Canada. Both cases and deaths decreased dramatically as a result of the programme, with no deaths at all since 1930. The narrator says that a similar programme has begun in Britain. A laboratory produces the toxoid, packages it and sends it to local health authorities. A doctor is shown giving the injection in his surgery. A large group of children is shown waiting for their vaccine at a school. A young girl is injected and smiles. The narrator stresses that the parents need to help and cooperate to protect their child. A mother talks to a GP and looks at a consent form. Children are seen eating together at school, and the narrator says that diphtheria can be stamped out by prompt action. Time start: 00:06:51:01 Time end: 00:11:02:20 Length: 00:04:10:23
Credits: A Paul Rotha Production. Directed by Bladon Peake, photographed by Irwin Hillier, scenario by Donald Alexander and narrated by John Hilton.
Further information: This video was made from material preserved by the BFI National Archive.
Keywords: Immunization; Diphtheria; Public Health
Locations: United Kingdom; England