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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

Is absolutely unknown in Sistan


Another

department in the Consulate of great interest is the spacious hospital containing a well-supplied dispensary, where an average of forty daily patients are treated gratis by Dr. Golam Jelami and a compounder.

Patients came on in their turn with various complaints, and they were disposed of with due speed, undergoing the necessary treatment with various degrees of grace.

The hospital contains besides the dispensary, an in-patients' and an accident ward, office, operating room and doctor's quarters, the whole place being kept beautifully clean by Indian attendants--Dr. Golam Jelami taking great pride in his work and in the success and efficacy of the establishment.

Being himself a Mussulman Dr. Golam Jelami has a great advantage over a Christian doctor in attending the natives, and, in fact, he has become the medical adviser to the Amir and his entire family, and a favourite with all the _Darbaris_ or people at the Amir's court owing to his extreme tact, skill and charm of manner.

He has performed some quite extraordinary operations. One day when the Consul and Mrs. Benn were about to sit down to lunch, a huge tumour, which had just been excised from the back of a man's neck, was sent round on a tray for the Consul's inspection; and lenses of the eye from successful cataract operations are frequently sent in for the Consul's approval.

justify;">The climate of Sistan is very healthy generally, and the Halmund water delicious--by some it is said to be an actual tonic--but the hot winds of the summer and the salt sand cause severe injury to the eyes. Cataract is a most common complaint, even in comparatively young persons. Also ophthalmia in its two forms. Confusion of vision is frequent even among children, and myopia, but not so common as the opacity of the cornea.

The most common complaint is the "Sistan Sore," which affects people on the face or any other part of the body. It is known by the local name of _Dana-i-daghi_. It begins with irregularly-shaped pustules--very seldom circular--that come to suppuration and burst, and if not checked in time last for several months, extending on the skin surface, above which they hardly rise.

The digestion of Sistanis, although naturally good, is interfered with by the abuse of bad food, such as _krut_, or dried curd--most rancid, indigestible stuff.

Venereal complaints are also most common, the most terrible form of all, curiously enough, being treated even by Persian doctors with mercury--a treatment called the _Kalyan Shingrif_--but administered in such quantities that its effects are often worse than the ailment itself.

Partly owing to this complaint and stomach troubles and the chewing of tobacco, the teeth are usually bad, black and decayed even in young people, nor have the Sistanis themselves any way of saving the teeth.

Siphylitic tonsilitis is almost the only throat complaint noticeable in Sistan, but inflammation of the palate is not rare. Heart disease is practically unknown in Sistan, and there are but very few lung affections.

The bones of the skeleton are extremely hard and possess abnormal elasticity of texture, and are, therefore, not easily fractured.

There are several kinds of hair diseases caused by climatic conditions and dirt, as well as cutaneous affections of the scalp.

The nails both of fingers and toes are healthy, not brittle, with well-marked fibre showing through their smooth surface, and of good shape.

The tape worm, so common in many other parts of Persia, is absolutely unknown in Sistan, and this is probably due to the excellent water obtainable.


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