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Left: Doctor F.E. Fouquet (1822-1908). | RHCL, GAM photocollection 146 Right: Attest of cowpox inoculation 1832. | RHCL The municipal health committees were often only active during times of epidemics. Because they were dormant most of the time, they paid no attention to prevention. Maastricht has never had a municipal Committee of Medical Inspection and Surveillance. Sanitary conditions in the town were decidedly bad. Because Maastricht was a fortress until 1867, which meant that building was not permitted outside the town walls, the town inside the walls was overpopulated. In working-class areas the busy, narrow and unpaved small streets were open sewers and families lived close together in damp housing without running water. There were no municipal policies regarding public health. The town council was always short of funding and there was no recognition of the effectiveness of sanitary measures. Even the cholera epidemic of 1866 failed to open the eyes of the municipal authorities. A municipal Health Committee was not installed in Maastricht until 1873. This was done on the intitiative of doctor Emile Schreinemachter (1853 -1909), who was a member of the town council. Suprisingly, Dr Fouquet did not serve on the committee, although he was the main proponent of hygienic measures. Discontent with the council’s sluggishness may have incited him to establish the Association for the Improvement of Public Health in Maastricht in 1881. The association first of all became involved with child mortality in Maastricht which was high in comparison with the West of the Netherlands. The association and the committee were competing bodies, which may not have helped to promote speedy results. Nevertheless, their efforts met with success. For it was also due to their work that four issues were placed on the municipal agenda: provision of clean and safe drinking water, removal of waste and faeces and improvement of the nutritional condition of the population and the dreadful living conditions of factory workers. These


Geneeskundeboek-Opmaak Binnenwerk-ENG.indd
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