ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title
2. Application of Act
3. Power to vary application
INTERPRETATION OF TERMS
5. Power to direct inquiries
6. Power of persons directed to make inquiries
7. General duties of local authorities
8. Proceedings on complaint against local authorities
9. Powers of person appointed under preceding section
10. This Act in relation to other Acts
MANAGEMENT OF ASSISTED HOSPITALS
10A. Board of Governors of assisted hospitals
10B. Contents of Order
NOTIFICATION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
11. Notifiable diseases
12. Declaration of notifiable diseases by Minister
13. Notification of infectious diseases
14. Regulations for the notification of infectious diseases
15. Fees for certificates
PREVENTION AND SUPPRESSION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
16. Powers of medical officer of health to inspect premises and persons
17. Cleansing and disinfection of premises and articles therein
18. No compensation for deprivation during disinfection
19. Provision of means of disinfection
20. Provision of conveyance for infected persons
21. Provision for removal to hospital of persons suffering from infectious diseases where serious risk
22. Penalty on exposure of persons and articles liable to convey infectious disease
23. Penalty on failing to provide for disinfection of vehicle
24. Penalty for letting infected house
25. Duty of person letting house lately infected to give true information
26. Notification of deaths and removal of bodies of persons dying of infectious disease
27. Removal and burial of bodies of persons who have died of an infectious disease
28. Local authority to remove and bury unclaimed bodies
SPECIAL PROVISIONS REGARDING CERTAIN FORMIDABLE EPIDEMIC OR ENDEMIC DISEASES
30. Formidable epidemic or endemic diseases
31. Power to make Rules for prevention of disease
32. Local authority to see to the execution of Rules
33. Power of local authority or medical officer of health to enforce Rules
34. Notification of sickness or mortality in animals suspected of plague
35. Local authorities to report notification of formidable epidemic disease by telegraph
36. Secretary for Health may requisition buildings
37. Penalties for offences against this Part
PREVENTION OF INTRODUCTION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
38. Power to enforce precautions at borders of Malawi
39. Removal of infected persons from railway trains
40. Isolation or surveillance of persons exposed to infection
41. Powers of medical officers of health to inspect railway trains and medically examine passengers
42. Definition of “protected person” “public vaccinator” “unprotected person” and “vaccination” in this Part
43. Vaccination of Children
44. Vaccination of persons in declared areas or entering Malawi
45. If adult or child unfit for vaccination certificate to be given
46. Certificates to be given for successful vaccination
47. No fee to be charged for a certificate or for vaccination by public vaccinator
48. Vaccination of inmates of institutions
49. School attendance
50. Supply of vaccine lymph and inoculation from arm to arm, etc., forbidden
51. Power to order vaccination of all persons at any time
52. Power to make Rules
53. Venereal diseases
54. Employment of infected persons
55. Publication of advertisements of cures
56. Prevention of the treatment of venereal disease otherwise than by registered or licensed persons
57. Conveyance of infection an offence
58. Offences and penalties
SANITATION AND HOUSING
59. Nuisances prohibited
60. Duties of local authorities to maintain cleanliness and prevent nuisances
61. Duty of local authorities to prevent or remedy danger to health arising from unsuitable dwellings
62. What constitutes a nuisance
63. Author of nuisance
64. Notice to abate nuisance
65. Procedure in case owner fails to comply with notice
66. Penalties in relation to nuisance
67. Court may order local authority to execute works in certain cases
68. Provision in case of two orders for overcrowding relating to same premises
69. Power of sale
70. Persons jointly responsible for nuisances may be proceeded against
71. Demolition of unfit buildings
72. Prohibitions in respect of back-to-back dwellings and rooms without through ventilation
73. Cost of execution of provisions relating to nuisances
74. Examination of premises
75. Power to make Rules
76. Rules as to buildings
77. Power to require removal or alteration of work not in conformity with Rules
CONVEYANCE, SEWERAGE AND DRAINAGE
78. Interpretation of Part X
79. Provision of public sewers and sewerage disposal work
80. Duty of authority to keep map showing public sewers
81. Power of local authority to alter or close public sewers
82. Certain matters not to be passed into sewers or drains
Right to Connect with Public Sewers
83. Right of owners and occupiers within district of local authority to drain into public sewers
84. Use of public sewers by owners and occupiers without the district of local authority
85. Sewer connexions in streets and through private land
86. Procedure in regard to making communication with public sewers
Drainage and Latrines of New Buildings
87. New buildings to be provided with any necessary drains, etc.
88. Latrine accommodation to be provided for new buildings
Drainage and latrines of Existing Buildings
89. Provisions as to drainage, etc., of existing buildings
90. Replacements of earth-closets, etc., by water-closets
91. Building or land having insufficient latrines or latrines so defective as to require reconstruction
92. Buildings having defective latrines capable of repair
Drainage of Buildings in Combination
93. Drainage of buildings in combination
94. Payment of advances for defraying drainage expenses
THE PREVENTION AND DESTRUCTION OF MOSQUITOES
96. Breeding places of mosquitoes to be nuisances
97. Yards to be kept free from bottles whole or broken, etc.
98. Clearance of bush or long grass
99. Wells, etc., to be covered
100. Cesspits to be screened or protected
101. Larvae, etc., may be destroyed
102. Mere presence of mosquito larvae an offence
PROTECTION OF FOODSTUFFS
103. Construction and regulation of buildings used for the storage of foodstuffs
104. No person to reside or sleep in any room in which foodstuffs are stored, etc.
WATER AND FOOD SUPPLIES
105. Duty of local authorities as to polluted water supplies
106. Sale of unwholesome food prohibited
107. Seizure of unwholesome food
110. Fixing of standards for foodstuffs or other articles
111. Medical officer of health’s powers to make orders for protection of public health
112. Power to make orders
113. Cemeteries and crematoria to be appointed
114. List of authorized cemeteries
115. Permit to exhume
116. Exhumation needed for execution of public works
117. Record of permit for exhumation
118. Closing of cemeteries by Minister
119. Cremations in places where no crematorium provided
120. Basements not to be occupied without permission
121. Lodging houses
122. Nursing homes
123. Maternity and child welfare
124. Regulation of public washermen
125. Control of irrigated land
126. Supervision of importation or manufacture of vaccines, etc.
127. Authentication of notices, etc.
128. Service of notices, etc.
129. Power and duties of the officers of the Ministry of Health
130. Defect in form not to invalidate notices, etc.
131. Powers of entry and inspection of premises and penalties for obstruction
132. Provisions as to appeals against and the enforcement of notices requiring execution of works
133. Execution of works
134. Certain expenses recoverable from owners to be a charge on the premises; power to accept payment by instalments
135. Power to make a charge in respect of establishment expenses
136. Recovery of expenses, etc.
137. Protection of local authorities and their officers from personal liability
138. Penalties where not expressly provided
139. Liability of secretary or manager of company
140. Proceedings against several persons
142. Power of local authority outside its district
143. Power to make Rules for purposes of this Act
INDEX TO SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION
Under Section 2
Under Section 31
Under Section 38
Under Section 51
Under Section 75
Under Section 109
Under Sections 113 and 114
Under Section 143
Under Section 143
12 of 1948
44 of 1950
8 of 1951
37 of 1967
30 of 1969
34 of 1969
43 of 1971
3 of 1975
21 of 1992
An Act to amend and consolidate the law regarding the preservation of public health
[29TH JULY 1948]
This Act may be cited as the Public Health Act.
This Act, or specified provisions thereof only, shall apply to such part or parts of Malawi as the Minister may direct by notice published in the Gazette.
The Minister may by notice published in the Gazette suspend or rescind the application of this Act, or of specified provisions thereof, to any part or parts of Malawi to which it, or such specified provision, has or have been applied.
INTERPRETATION OF TERMS
In this Act and in any Rules made under this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms have the following meanings—
“adult” means a person who is over or appears to be over eighteen years of age;
“assisted hospital” means a hospital or any other health facility which is maintained in whole or in part by grants-in-aid;
“Board or Board of Governors” means a Board of Governors established under Part IIA;
“building” includes any structure whatsoever whether permanent or temporary for whatsoever purpose used;
“burial” means burial in earth, interment or any other form of sepulture, or the cremation or any other mode of disposal of a dead body, and “buried” has a corresponding meaning;
“carrier of a disease” means one in whose body the infection of a disease is still present and liable to be transmitted to another person, although the carrier is not himself suffering from the disease in an active form;
“child” means a person who is under or appears to be under eighteen years of age;
“dairy” includes any farm-house, cow shed, milk-stall, milk-shop or other place from which milk is supplied or in which milk is kept or used for purposes of sale or is manufactured into butter, ghee, cheese, dried milk or condensed milk for sale;
“dairyman” includes any cow-keeper, purveyor of milk, or occupier of a dairy, and in cases where a dairy is owned by a corporation or company, the secretary or other person actually managing such dairy;
“district” means in relation to a local authority, the area which is under the jurisdiction of that local authority;
“drain” means any drain together with its appurtenances used for the drainage of one building only, or of premises within the same curtilage and made merely for the purpose of communicating therefrom with a cesspool or other like receptacle for drainage, or with a sewer into which drainage of two or more buildings or premises occupied by different persons is conveyed, and includes any pipe or channel whether opened or closed, used or intended to be used for the drainage of land;
“dwelling” means any house, room, shed, hut, cave, tent, vehicle, vessel or boat or any other structure or place whatsoever, any portion whereof is used by any human being for sleeping or in which any human being dwells;
“to erect” in reference to a dwelling or room includes “to alter", “add to” or “convert into” and “erected” has a corresponding meaning;
“factory” means any premises wherein, or within the close or curtilage or precincts of which, steam, water, or other power whether mechanical or manual is used in aid of the manufacturing process there carried on;
“food” means any article used for food or drink other than drugs or water, but includes ice, and any article which ordinarily enters into or is used in the composition or preparation of human food, and includes flavouring matters and condiments, and “foodstuffs” has a corresponding meaning;
“guardian” means any person having by reason of the death, illness, absence or incapacity of a parent or any other cause, the custody of a child;
“health officer” means a medical officer of health and a health inspector;
“health inspector” means a health inspector of the Ministry of Health or one employed by a local authority;
“infected” means suffering from, or in the incubation stage of, or contaminated with the infection of, any infectious disease;
“infectious disease” means any disease which can be communicated directly or indirectly by any person suffering therefrom to any other person;
“isolation” means the segregation and the separation from, and interdiction of communication with others, of persons who are or are suspected of being infected, and “isolated” has a corresponding meaning;
“keeper of a lodging-house” means any person keeping a hotel or lodging-house;
“land” includes any right over or in respect of land or any interest therein;
“latrine” includes privy, urinal, earth-closet and water-closet;
“lodging-house” means a building or part of a house including the veranda thereof, if any, which is let or sublet in lodgings or otherwise, either by storeys, by flats, by rooms, or by portions of rooms;
“medical observation” means the isolation of persons in a suitable place;
“medical officer” means any registered or licensed medical practitioner in the employment of the Government and includes any person authorized by the Secretary for Health to act as a medical officer;
“medical officer of health” means the Secretary for Health or any medical officer appointed by the Secretary for Health to act as such in any area;
“medical practitioner” means a person who is registered or licensed as such under any law in force in Malawi governing the registration of medical practitioners;
“medical surveillance” means the keeping of a person under medical supervision. Persons under such surveillance may be required by the medical officer of health or any officer duly authorized by the Secretary for Health to remain within a specified area or to attend or medical examination at specified places and times;
“occupier” shall include any person in actual occupation of land or premises without regard to the title under which he occupies and, in case of premises subdivided and let to lodgers or various tenants, the person receiving rent payable by the lodgers or tenants whether on his own account or as an agent for any person entitled thereto or interested therein;
“offensive trade” includes the trade of blood-boiler, bone-boiler, fell-monger, soap-boiler, tallow-melter, tripe-boiler, tanner, preparer or storer of hides, manure manufacturer, and any other noxious or offensive trade, business or manufacture declared by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette to be a noxious or offensive trade;
“owner” shall, as regards immovable property, include any person, other than the Government, receiving the rent or profits of any land or premises from any tenant or occupier thereof, or who would receive such rent or profits if such land or premises were let whether on his own account or as agent for any person other than the Government entitled thereto or interested therein. The term includes any lessee or licensee from the Government and any superintendent, overseer, or manager, of such lessee or licensee residing on the lands or premises;
“parent” means and includes the father and mother of a child whether legitimate or not;
“premises” includes any building or tent together with the land on which it is situated and the adjoining land used in connexion therewith, and includes any vehicle, conveyance or vessel;
“proprietor” in relation to an assisted hospital, includes a former proprietor;
“public building” means a building used or constructed or adapted to be used either ordinarily or occasionally as a place of public worship or as a hospital, college, school, theatre, public hall, or as a public place of assembly or entertainment for persons admitted by ticket or otherwise, or used or adapted to be used for any other public purpose;
“public vehicle” means any vehicle which plies or stands for hire, or is from time to time let out for hire or is intended to be let out for hire and includes any railway coach or aircraft or vessel;
“slaughter-house” means any premises set apart for the purpose of a slaughter-house by a local authority;
“stock” means and includes all domesticated animals of which the flesh or milk is used for human consumption;
“street” means any highway, road or sanitary lane, and includes any bridge, footway, square, court, alley or passage whether a thoroughfare or a part of one or not;
“trade premises” means any premises (other than a factory) used or intended to be used for carrying on any trade or business;
“vehicle” means every means of conveyance or of transit or parts thereof manufactured for use or capable of being used on land, water or in the air and in whatever way driven or propelled or carried;
“veranda” includes any stage, platform or portico projecting from the external wall of any building;
“veterinary officer” means the Director of Veterinary Services or any veterinary officer in the employment of the Government or any member of the Government veterinary staff appointed by the Director of Veterinary Services to act as such in any area;
“workshop” means any building or part of a building or any premises in which manual labour is exercised for the purposes of trade.
The Minister may cause to be made such inquiries as he may see fit in relation to any matters concerning the public health in any place.
When the Minister directs any inquiry to be made, the person directed to make such inquiry shall have free access to all books, plans, maps; documents, and other things relevant to the inquiry, and shall have in relation to witnesses and their examination and the production of documents similar powers to those conferred upon Commissioners by the Commissions of Inquiry Act, and may enter and inspect any building, premises, or place, the entry or inspection whereof appears to him requisite for the purpose of such inquiry.
It shall be the duty of every local authority to take all lawfull, necessary and under its special circumstances reasonable and practicable measures for preventing the occurrence or dealing with any outbreak or prevalence of any infectious, communicable or preventable disease, to safeguard and promote the public health, and to exercise the powers and perform the duties in respect of the public health conferred or imposed on it by this Act or by any other law.
Whenever any complaint is made that the public health in any locality is endangered by the failure or refusal on the part of the local authority to exercise the powers or perform the duties devolving upon it under this Act, the Minister, if satisfied after due inquiry that the local authority is guilty of default, may make an order directing the local authority to perform its duty in the matter of such complaint and prescribing a time for such performance. If such order is not obeyed within the time prescribed the Minister may appoint some person to carry out such order, and the cost of carrying out the order may be recovered as a debt due to the Government from the local authority.
Any person appointed under the last preceding section to perform the duty of a defaulting local authority shall, in the perfomance and for the purpose of such duty, have all the powers of such local authority other than the powers of levying rates vested in any local authority pursuant to the provision of any Act in that behalf, and the Minister may from time to time by order change any person so appointed.
Save as is specially provided in this Act, this Act shall be deemed to be in addition to and not in substitution for any provisions of any other Act which are not in conflict or inconsistent with this Act.
MANAGEMENT OF ASSISTED HOSPITALS
(1) Where, in the opinion of the Minister, it is desirable that a Board of Governors should be set up to manage an assisted hospital or a group of assisted hospitals, he shall cause proposals for that purpose to be placed before the proprietor of that hospital or group of hopitals.
(2) Where, in the opinion of the proprietor of any assisted hospital or group of assisted hospitals, it is desirable that a Board of Governors be set up to manage the hospital or group of hospitals, the proprietor shall submit proposals for that purpose to the Minister.
(3) The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette establish a Board of Governors for the hospital or group of hospitals to which such proposals relate in accordance with any agreement which may be reached between him and the propietor.
(1) An order establishing a Board of Governors under section 10A shall provide for—
(a) the name of the Board;
(b) the exercise by the Board of the duty of management of the assisted hospital or group of hospitals specified in the order, subject to such limitations or restrictions as may be specified;
(c) the membership of the Board, including representation on the Board of the Ministry, the proprietor, the community or communities served by the hospital or group of hospitals and such bodies or organizations as may be agreed upon by the Minister and the proprietor, all in such numbers and proportions as may be so agreed;
(d) the method by which the continuity of the membership of the Board may be provided;
(e) the revocation of the appointment of, the retirement and resignation of, members of the Board and the appointment of new members thereof and of temporary members thereof in case of absence or inability to act of any members thereof;
(f) the respective responsibilities, duties and powers of the Board and of the other persons (if any) in whom any land or other property is vested in trust for or for the benefit of any hospital affected by the order and in respect of the use of the buildings and grounds of any such hospital at times when they are not required to be used for purposes of health services;
(g) such other matters as the Minister may, in agreement with the proprietor, consider necessary in respect of the constitution, functions or procedure of the Board.
(2) A Board of Governors established under subsection (1) shall be a body corporated by the name of the Board, unless the order by which it is established otherwise provides. Such body corporate shall have perpetual succession and may sue and be sued by its name and shall have power to make contracts and to own land.
(3) All or any property of the proprietor may be vested by an order made under section 10A in the Board of Governors thereby established or in trustees for the assisted hospital or group of assisted hospitals thereby affected.
(4) In any case in which property is or remains vested in trustees for an assisted hospital or group of assisted hospitals, the order establishing a Board of Governors thereof may provide that the Board shall have sole responsibility for management of the assisted hospital or group of assisted hospitals and in such case the trustees shall, notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or of any other written law, be under no liability as proprietors for any act or omission in relation to the management of the assisted hospital or group of assisted hospitals by the Board of Governors thereof, who shall be solely responsible for their own acts and omissions.
(5) An order made under section 10A may be amended by the Minister at any time with the agreement of the proprietor of the assisted hospital or group of assisted hospitals thereby affected:
Provided that if such proprietor has died or ceased to exist, such amendment may be made without any such agreement.
NOTIFICATION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
The provisions of this Act, unless otherwise expressed, shall, so far as they concern notifiable infectious diseases, apply to anthrax; blackwater fever; cerebro-spinal meningitis or cerebro-spinal fever; cholera; diphtheria or membranous croup; dysentery (bacillary); encephalitis lethargica; enteric or typhoid fever (including paratyphoid); erysipelas; hydrophobia or human rabies; influenza; measles; plague; acute primary pneumonia; acute anterior poliomyelitis; acute polioencephalitis; puerperal fever (including septicaemia, pyaemia, ceptic pelvic cellulitis or other serious septic condition occurring during the puerperal state); relapsing fever; scarlet fever or scarlatina; sleeping sickness or human trypanosomiasis; smallpox or any disease resembling smallpox; all forms of tuberculosis which are clinically recognizable apart from reaction to the tuberculin test; typhus fever; whooping-cough and yellow fever.
The Minister may by notice published in the Gazette—
(a) declare that any infectious disease other than those specified in section 11 shall be a notifiable disease under this Act;
(b) declare that only such provisions of this Act as are mentioned in such notice shall apply to any such notifiable disease;
(c) restrict the provisions of this Act, as regards the notification of any disease, to the district of any local authority or to any area defined.
(1) Where an inmate of any dwelling in Malawi is suffering from any notifiable infectious disease, unless such dwelling is a hospital in which persons suffering from any notifiable infectious diseases are received, the following provisions shall have effect—
(a) the head of the family to which such inmate (in this Act referred to as “the patient") belongs and in his default the nearest relatives of the patient present in the building or in their default the person in charge of or in attendance on the patient, and in default of any such person the occupier of the dwelling shall, as soon as he becomes aware that the patient is suffering from any notifiable infectious disease to which this Act applies, send notice thereof to the nearest medical officer of health;
(b) whenever any child attending any school, orphanage or like institution, or any person residing in any hotel, boardinghouse or other like institution, shall be known to be suffering from any infectious disease (whether such infectious disease is specified in this Act or not) the manager, principal or person in charge of such school, orphanage or other like institution, or the manager or proprietor or person in charge of such hotel, boarding-house or other like institution shall forthwith send notice thereof to the nearest medical officer of health and shall furnish to him on his request a list of scholars or residents thereat, together with their addresses;
(c) every medical practitioner attending on or called in to visit a patient shall forthwith on becoming aware that the patient is suffering from any notifiable infectious disease to which this Act applies, send to the nearest medical officer of health a certificate stating the name of the patient, the situation of the building and the notifiable infectious disease from which, in the opinion of such medical practitioner, the patient is suffering;
(d) in any case in which a medical practitioner has been called in, the obligation to notify an infectious disease shall rest on such medical practitioner only;
(e) every medical practitioner who becomes aware, by postmortem examination or otnerwise that any, person has died of a notifiable infectious disease shall immediately furnisn a written certificate thereof to the nearest medical officer of health and shall also inform the head of the household or the occupier of the premises or any person who has been in attendance on such diseased person of the infectious nature of the disease and the precautions to be taken to prevent its conveyance to others.
(2) Every person required by this section to give a notice or certificate who fails to give the same shall be liable to a fine of £5:
Provided that if a person is not required to give notice in the first instance, but only in default of some other person, he shall not be liable to any fine if he satisfies the court that he had reasonable cause to suppose that the notice had been duly given.
The Minister may, in respect of the notification of infectious disease, make Regulations as to—
(a) the duties of owners or occupiers of land, the owners or managers of mines, employers of labour and all Chiefs or Headmen or others in regard to reporting the occurrence of any infectious disease;
(b) the duties of the person in charge of any school, orphanage or similar institution in regard to the reporting of such diseases or any other communicable disease specified in the Regulations to the local authority;
(c) the circumstances in which notification of particular infectious diseases shall not be required;
(d) the duties of the local authority in respect to the keeping of registers and records of such notifications;
(e) the duties of registrars of death in respect of furnishing the local authority with notification of returns of deaths notified with such registrars;
(f) the forms to be used and the particulars to be furnished by medical practitioners when making such notifications to the local authority;
(g) the forms to be used and the particulars to be furnished by the local authorities when transmitting returns and reports to the Secretary for Health,
and generally for better carrying out the provisions and attaining the objects and purposes of this Part. Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any such Regulation shall be guilty of an offence.
The local authority shall pay to every medical practitioner, other than a Government medical officer, for each certificate duly sent by him in accordance with this Act a fee of five shillings.
PREVENTION AND SUPPRESSION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
A medical officer of health may at any time enter and inspect any premises in which he has reason to believe that any person suffering or who has recently suffered from any infectious disease is or has recently been present, or any inmate of which has recently been exposed to the infection of any infectious disease, and may medically examine any person in such premises for the purpose of ascertaining whether such person is suffering or has recently suffered from or is a carrier of any such disease and may cause a post-mortem examination to be made on any corpse for the purpose of ascertaining if the cause of death has been any infectious disease.
(1) If a local authority is satisfied upon a certificate of a medical officer of health or a health inspector that the cleansing and disinfection of any premises, and the disinfection and destruction of any articles therein likely to retain infection, would tend to prevent the spread of any infectious disease, the authority shall give notice to the occupier of the premises that it will at his cost cleanse and disinfect the premises and disinfect or, as the case may require, destroy any such articles therein.
(2) The authority may, twelve hours after the delivery of such notice, or at any time with the consent of the occupier, cause the premises to be cleansed and disinfected and the articles to be disinfected or destroyed, as the case may require, and may, if it thinks fit, recover from him the expenses reasonably incurred by it in so doing.
(3) Where a local authority has under this section disinfected any premises or article, or destroyed any articles, it may if it thinks fit, pay compensation to any person who has suffered damage by its action.
(4) For the purpose of this section, the owner of unoccupied premises shall be deemed to be in occupation thereof.
Compensation shall not be payable in respect of the deprivation of the occupation or use of any building or part thereof or of the use of any article occasioned by disinfection, if no undue delay has occurred.
Any local authority may provide a proper place, with all necessary apparatus and attendance, for the disinfection of bedding, clothing or other articles which have become infected, and may cause any articles brought for disinfection to be dealt with free of charge.
Any local authority may provide and maintain a conveyance or conveyances for the carriage of persons suffering from any infectious disease and may pay the expenses of carriage therein of any person so suffering to a hospital or other place of detention.
Where the local authority is satisfied on a certificate of the medical officer of health that a person is suffering from an infectious disease and—
(a) that his circumstances are such that proper precautions to prevent the spread of infection cannot be taken, or that such precautions are not being taken; and
(b) that serious risk of infection is thereby caused to other persons; and
(c) that accommodation for him is available in a suitable hospital or institution,
the local authority may order him to be removed thereto and maintained at the cost of the authority, and to be there detained until such medical officer of health is satisfied that he is free from infection or can be discharged without danger to the public health.
Any person who—
(a) while suffering from any infectious disease wilfully exposes himself without proper precautions against spreading the said disease in any street, public place, shop, inn or public conveyance, or enters any public vehicle without previously notifying the owner, conductor or driver thereof that he is so suffering; or
(b) being in charge of a person so suffering exposes such sufferer; or
(c) gives, lends, sells, transmits or exposes, without previous disinfection, any clothing, bedding or rags which he knows to have been exposed to infection from any such disease, or any other article which he knows to have been so exposed,
shall be liable to a fine of £15 and to imprisonment for three months; and a person who, while suffering from any such disease, enters any public vehicle without previously notifying to the owner or driver that he is so suffering, shall in addition be ordered by the court to pay such owner or driver the amount of any loss and expenses he or they may incur in carrying into effect the provisions of this Act with respect to disinfection of the vehicle:
Provided that no proceedings under this section shall be taken against persons transmitting with proper precautions any bedding, clothing, rags or other things for the purpose of having the same disinfected.
Every owner or driver of a vehicle shall immediately notify a medical officer of health, and provide for the disinfection of such vehicle to the satisfaction of such medical officer of health, after it has to his knowledge conveyed any person suffering from an infectious disease, and if he fails to do so he shall be liable to a fine of £20; but no such driver or owner shall be required to convey any person so suffering until he has been paid a sum sufficient to cover any loss or expenses incurred by him in carrying this section into effect.
Any person who knowingly lets for hire any dwelling or premises or part thereof in which, within the previous six weeks, any person has been suffering from an infectious disease without having the same, and all articles therein liable to retain infection, efficiently disinfected to the satisfaction of the medical officer of health as testified by a certificate signed by him shall be liable to a fine of £50.
This section shall apply to any owner or keeper of a lodginghouse.
Any person letting for hire or showing for the purpose of letting for hire any building or part thereof who on being questioned by any person negotiating for the hire of such building or part as to the fact of there being or within six weeks previously having been therein any person suffering from any infectious disease knowingly makes a false answer to such question shall be liable to a fine of £50.
(1) In every case of death from an infectious disease it shall be the duty of the occupier of the building in which the death has occurred immediately to notify the local authority of the death and on receipt of such notification the local authority shall at once transmit the information received to the nearest medical officer of health and make the best arrangements practicable pending the removal of the body and the carrying out of thorough disinfection for preventing the spread of such disease.
(2) It shall be an offence against this Act for the occupier of any premises to keep any dead body in any room in which food is kept or prepared or eaten, or to keep any dead body for more than twenty-four hours in any room in which any person lives, sleeps or works or to keep the body of any person who is known to have died of an infectious disease in any place other than a mortuary or other place set apart for the keeping of dead bodies, without first obtaining the sanction of the local authority or a medical officer of health.
(3) Where any person dies of an infectious disease it shall be an offence against this Act to remove the body except to a mortuary or for the purpose of immediate burial; and it shall be the duty of any person who removes the body to take it direct to the mortuary or to the place of interment for burial.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent the removal by due authority of any dead body from a hospital to a mortuary.
A medical officer of health, a health officer, a health inspector, a local authority or any administrative or police officer on a certificate from a medical practitioner that a person has died from an infectious disease, is empowered to direct that the dead body of a person who has so died be removed to a mortuary or other suitable place whenever such body—
(a) is retained in contravention of the preceding section in a room in which any person lives, sleeps, or works, or in which food is kept or prepared or eaten; or
(b) is retained in any premises in circumstances which, in the opinion of a medical officer of health, are likely to cause nuisance or endanger health.
Any person who obstructs the execution of any order or direction given under this section shall be guilty of an offence.
A local authority shall be responsible for the removal and burial of bodies of destitute persons and of unclaimed bodies within its own district.
The Minister may make Rules applicable to all infectious diseases or only to such infectious diseases as may be specified therein, regarding the following matters—
(a) the closing of any school or any place of public entertainment, where deemed necessary for the purpose of preventing the spread of any infectious disease, and the regulation and restriction of school attendance;
(b) the duties of parents or guardians of school children who are suffering or have recently suffered from or been exposed to the infection of any infectious disease, and the duties of persons in charge of schools in respect of such children;
(c) the establishment, maintenance, management, and inspection of isolation hospitals, convalescent homes or other institutions for the accommodation or treatment of persons suffering from or who have recently suffered from any infectious disease, the removal of persons to such institutions and their discharge therefrom and the classification and control of the patients and staff of such institutions;
(d) the imposition and enforcement of quarantine or of medical observation or surveillance in respect of persons suffering or suspected to be suffering from an infectious disease who are not removed to a hospital or place of isolation, the premises in which such persons are accommodated, those in charge of or in attendance on such persons, and other persons living in or visting such premises or who may otherwise have been exposed to the infection of any such disease;
(e) the duties in respect of the prevention of infectious diseases therefrom, of owners of land on which other persons reside and of employers of labour and of Chiefs or headmen and others;
(f) the measures to be taken for the prevention of the spread of any infectious disease requiring to be dealt with in a special manner;
(g) the conveyance by rail or otherwise of persons suffering from, or bodies of persons who have died of, an infectious disease;
(h) the prevention of the spread from any animal or the carcass or product of any animal to man, of rabies, glanders, anthrax, plague, tuberculosis, trichinosis or any other disease communicable by any animal, or the carcass or product of any animal, to man;
(i) the prevention of the spread of disease by flies or other insects and the destruction and the removal of or the abatement of conditions permitting or favouring the prevalence or multiplication of such insects;
(j) the destruction of rodents and other vermin and the removal or abatement of conditions permitting or favouring the harbourage or multiplication thereof;
(k) the prevention of the spread of ancylostomiasis, schistosomiasis or other disease in man caused by an animal or vegetable parasite;
(l) the prevention of the spread of any infectious disease by the carrying on of any business, trade or occupation;
(m) the prevention of the spread of any infectious disease by carriers, and the keeping under medical surveillance and the restriction of the movements of such carriers;
(n) the prohibition of spitting in public places or in public vehicles, except into receptacles provided for the purpose;
(o) the regulation and restriction of any trade or occupation entailing special danger to the health of those engaged therein, whether from infectious disease or otherwise, and the institution of measures for preventing or limiting such danger;
(p) the establishment, maintenance and management of cleansing stations and the cleansing of dirty or verminous persons, the disinfection or fumigation of buildings, clothing or other articles which have been exposed to or are believed to be contaminated with the infection of any infectious disease, or which are dirty or verminous, and the prohibition of the carrying out of any fumigation which involves the use of poisonous gas except under licence;
(q) the disposal of any refuse, waste matters or other matter or thing which has been contaminated with or exposed to the infection of any infectious disease;
(r) the giving compulsorily of any information or the production compulsorily of any documentary or other evidence required for the purpose of tracing the source or preventing the spread of any infectious disease, and generally for better carrying out the provisions and attaining the objects and purposes of this Part.
SPECIAL PROVISIONS REGARDING CERTAIN FORMIDABLE EPIDEMIC OR ENDEMIC DISEASES
This Part shall apply to smallpox, plague, cholera, yellow fever, cerebro-spinal meningitis, typhus, sleeping sickness or human trypanosomiasis and any other disease which the Minister may by notice declare to be a formidable epidemic or endemic disease for the purpose of this Part.
Whenever any part of Malawi appears to be threatened by any disease described in the last preceding section, the Minister may declare such part an infected area and may make Rules for all or any of the following purposes, namely—
(a) for the speedy interment of the dead;
(b) for house to house visitation;
(c) for the provision of medical aid and accommodation, for the promotion of cleansing, ventilation and disinfection and for guarding against the spread of disease;
(d) for preventing any person from entering or leaving any infected area without undergoing all or any of the following—
medical examination, disinfection, inoculation, vaccination or passing a specified period in an observation camp or station;
(e) for the formation and regulation of hospitals and observation camps or stations, and for the placing therein and reception of persons who are suffering from or have been in contact with persons suffering from infectious disease;
(f) for the destruction or disinfection of buildings, furniture, goods or other articles, which have been used by persons suffering from infectious disease, or which are likely to spread the infection;
(g) for the removal of persons who are suffering from an infectious disease and persons who have been in contact with such persons;
(h) for the removal of corpses;
(i) for the destruction of rats, the means and precautions to be taken on shore or on board vessels for preventing them passing between vessels and from vessels to the shore or from the shore to vessels and the better prevention of the danger of spreading infection by rats;
(j) for the destruction of mosquitoes, the means and precautions to be taken in respect of aircraft arriving at or departing from Malawi and for preventing mosquitoes from passing from aircraft to land or from land to aircraft, and the better prevention of the danger of spreading infection by mosquitoes;
(k) for the removal and disinfection of articles which have been exposed to infection;
(l) for prohibiting any person from living in any building or using any building for any purpose whatsoever if in the opinion of a medical officer of health any such use is liable to cause the spread of any infectious disease; any Rules made under this section may give a medical officer of health power to prescribe the conditions on which such a building may be used;
(m) for the compulsory medical examination of persons suffering or suspected to be suffering from infectious disease;
(n) for the registration of residents in an infected area;
(o) for the registration of vehicles in an infected area;
(p) for the compulsory confiscation and disposal of canoes and fishing gear used by any person in breach of any rule relating to the disease known as sleeping sickness;
(q) for the control of wood cutting in an infected area;
(r) for the restriction of residence in, immigration to or emigration from, an infected area;
(s) for the control of fishing and hunting in an infected area;
(t) for any other purpose whether of the same kind or nature as the foregoing or not having for its object the prevention, control or suppression of infectious disease,
and may by order declare all or any of the Rules so made to be in force within the whole or any part or parts of the infected area.
The local authority of any area within which or part of which Rules made under this Part are declared to be in force, shall do and provide all such acts, matters and things as may be necessary for mitigating any such disease, or aiding in the execution of such Rules, or for executing the same, as the case may require. A local authority may from time to time direct any prosecution or legal proceedings for or in respect of the wilful violation or neglect of any such Rules.
Any local authority or medical officer of health or any person duly authorized by any local authority or medical officer of health shall have power of entry on any premises or vehicle, for the purpose of executing or superintending the execution of any Rules so made by the Minister as aforesaid.
(1) Any person who becomes aware of any unusual sickness or mortality among rats, mice, cats, dogs or other animals susceptible to plague or other formidable epidemic diseases not due to poison or other obvious cause, shall immediately report the fact to a medical officer of health, where practicable, and where impracticable, to a local authority.
(2) Any such person who fails so to report shall be guilty of an offence.
Every local authority shall immediately report to the Secretary for Health or the nearest medical officer of health by telegraph, or other expeditious means, particulars of every notification received by such authority of a case or suspected case of any formidable epidemic or endemic disease, or of any unusual sickness or mortality in animals made under the last preceding section.
(1) Where there exists or is threatened an outbreak of any disease to which this Part applies it shall be lawful for the Secretary for Health to require any person owning or having charge of any land or any premises, or any person owning or having charge of tents, transport, bedding, hospital equipment, drugs, food or other appliances, materials or articles urgently required in connexion with the outbreak, to hand over the use of any such land or premises or to supply or make available any such article, subject to the payment of a reasonable amount as hire or purchase price.
(2) Any person who, without reasonable cause, fails or refuses to comply with any such requirement, shall be guilty of an offence.
Any person guilty of an offence against this Part shall be liable to a fine of £100 and to imprisonment for twelve months.
PREVENTION OF INTRODUCTION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
(1) For the purpose of preventing the introduction of infectious disease into Malawi the Minister may by order—
(a) regulate, restrict or prohibit the entry into Malawi or any part thereof of any person or of persons of any specified class or description or from any specified country, locality or area;
(b) regulate, restrict or prohibit the introduction into Malawi or any specified part thereof of any animal, article or thing;
(c) impose requirements or conditions as regards the medical examination, detention, quarantine, disinfection, vaccination, isolation or medical surveillance or otherwise of persons entering, or the examination, detention, or disinfection or otherwise of such persons as aforesaid or of articles and things introduced into Malawi or any part thereof.
(2) Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any such order shall be liable to a fine of £50 and to imprisonment for six months.
(1) Where any person arriving in Malawi by railway train or other vehicle is found to be suffering from any infectious disease, and in the opinion of a medical officer of health cannot be accommodated or cannot be nursed or treated so as to guard against the spread of the disease or to promote recovery, the medical officer of health may order the removal of such person to a hospital or place of isolation for such period as may be necessary in the interests of the patient or to prevent the spread of infection.
(2) All expenses necessarily incurred in dealing with a patient under this section shall be a charge against the said patient and may be recovered from him as a debt due to the Government. In the case of a person unable to pay any or all of such expenses necessarily incurred on his behalf, such expenditure or balance thereof shall be a charge on the Consolidated Fund.
(1) Where any person arriving by railway train or other vehicle within Malawi is believed to have been recently exposed to the infection, or to be in the incubation stage of, any notifiable disease, a medical officer of health may require such person to be removed to some hospital or place of isolation until considered free from infection, or alternatively may allow such person to proceed to his place of destination and there report himself to the local authority for medical surveillance by such local authority until considered free from infection.
(2) The medical officer of health shall in each instance notify the local authority of the district of such person’s destination, of the fact that such person is believed to have been recently exposed to infection and has been allowed to proceed to his destination.
(1) Any medical officer of health may at any time board any railway train or other vehicle arriving within Malawi, and may inspect any portion thereof or anything therein, and may medically examine any person travelling by such train or vehicle and require any such person to answer any question for the purpose of ascertaining if such person is infected by or has recently been exposed to the infection of any notifiable infectious disease.
(2) Any person who refuses to allow any such officer to board any railway train or other vehicle or to make any inspection or medical examination as aforesaid or otherwise obstructs or hinders any such officer in the execution of his duty, or who fails or refuses to give any information which he may lawfully be required to give, or who gives false or misleading information to any such officer, knowing it to be false or misleading, shall be guilty of an offence.
For the purposes of this Part—
“protected person” means a person or child who is protected;
“public vaccinator” means a public vaccinator appointed by the Secretary for Health and any person appointed by the Secretary for Health to assist or act for a public vaccinator and includes any registered or licensed medical practitioner;
“unprotected person” includes a child and means a person who has not been protected from smallpox either by having had the disease, or by having been successfully vaccinated not less than fourteen days nor more than three years previously; and
“vaccination” means the introduction into the skin of smallpox vaccine virus contained in a pure and tested vaccine lymph.
The parent or guardian of every child born in Malawi shall, after six months and within twelve months from birth, unless such child is unfit or has suffered from smallpox, cause such child to be successfully vaccinated by a public vaccinator.
(1) The Minister may by notice published in the Gazette declare any area to be a compulsory vaccination area and shall in such notice specify a period within which the vaccination of all unprotected persons dwelling in such area shall take place.
(2) Every unprotected adult and the parent or guardian of every unprotected child in any area declared to be a compulsory vaccination area shall cause himself and such child to be vaccinated within the period specified.
(3) Every unprotected adult and the parent or guardian of every unprotected child entering Malawi shall cause himself and such child to be vaccinated within one month:
(a) this section shall not require the vaccination of any adult or child who, in the opinion of a public vaccinator, is not in a fit state to be vaccinated;
(b) this section shall not apply to any person who can prove that reasonable facilities for vaccination were not available.
If any public vaccinator shall be of opinion that any adult or child is not in a fit state to be vaccinated, he shall give to the adult or to the parent or guardian of the child a certificate under his hand that the adult or child is then in a state unfit for vaccination.
The said certificate shall remain in force for six months only but shall be renewable for successive periods of six months until the public vaccinator shall deem the adult or child to be fit for vaccination, when the adult or child shall with all reasonable despatch be vaccinated.
Every public vaccinator who shall have performed the operation of vaccination upon any adult or child, and shall have ascertained that the same has been successful shall deliver to such adult or the parent or guardian of such child a certificate certifying that the said adult or child has been successfully vaccinated.
No fee or remuneration shall be charged to the person vaccinated by any public vaccinator for any certificate granted under this Act, nor for any vaccination done by him in pursuance of this Act.
Every superintendent or person in charge of a leprosy settlement, mental hospital, chronic sick hospital, gaol, prison, reformatory, or other similar institution, shall where practicable, cause to be vaccinated within fourteen days following his admission to such institution every inmate thereof who, being in a fit state of health to undergo vaccination, fails to prove satisfactorily that he has been successfully vaccinated within the three years immediately preceding; if such person is at the time unfit to undergo vaccination, he shall be vaccinated as soon as he is so fit.
(1) Subject to section 45, no child shall be admitted to or attend any school until there has been produced to the school manager or other person in charge thereof a certificate or other satisfactory evidence that the child is a protected person and any school manager or other person who admits or permits such child to be admitted shall be guilty of an offence.
(2) For the purpose of ascertaining whether subsection (1) is being observed, every public vaccinator shall, whenever instructed by the Secretary for Health, visit any school and make therein such inspection of the children attending thereat as will enable him to furnish such particulars as the Secretary for Health may require as to the children who are unprotected.
Any person who inoculates himself or any other person against smallpox with material taken from a person suffering from smallpox or from a vaccine vesicle on another person shall be guilty of an offence.
(1) The Minister may, at any time when he considers it necessary as a result of an outbreak, or to prevent the outbreak of smallpox in any area, direct that all persons or any class of persons within Malawi, or within any place, area, municipality, town, village or community therein, or all persons entering Malawi shall, unless they can give satisfactory evidence that they have, within such period as the Minister may specify, already been vaccinated, be vaccinated forthwith.
(2) Where the Minister has issued directions under subsection (1) the local authority having jurisdiction in any place, area, municipality, town or village or in respect of any community specified in such directions shall require all persons therein to attend, or all parents or guardians of children to cause such children to attend at centres or vaccination posts according to instructions issued there to undergo inspection by a public vaccinator and if found to be unprotected, and subject to section 45, to undergo vaccination. Such instructions may be issued by notice in the press, or by notices posted in public places, or otherwise as may be deemed sufficient by the local authority. Any person, parent or guardian failing to comply with such instructions shall be guilty of an offence.
(3) The Minister may make rules for the purpose of regulating or enforcing vaccination under this section and such rules may confer powers on public vaccinators in respect of persons passing vaccination centres or posts, who require vaccination.
The Minister may make Rules—
(a) prescribing forms of certificates, notices, returns and books of record to be used in connexion with public vaccination, and defining the information to be furnished therein, and requiring the furnishing and prescribing the manner of use thereof by registrars of deaths, public vaccinators, local authorities, medical practitioners, parents or guardians of children, persons in charge of schools, employers of labour and others;
(b) conferring powers and imposing duties, in connexion with the carrying out of enforcement of vaccination, on magistrates, administrative officers, members of the police force, or other Government officers, local authorities, persons in charge of schools, employers of labour, Chiefs and village headmen and others;
(c) prescribing and defining the duties in connexion with vaccination of public vaccinators;
(d) prescribing the manner in which vaccination shall be performed and the precautions to be observed by those performing it and by the persons or the parents or the guardians of children vaccinated;
(e) providing for the vaccination of persons and assigning where deemed desirable the responsibility for the carrying out of such vaccination to local authorities or employers of labour; and
(f) generally for the better carrying out of this Part and attaining the objects and purposes thereof.
The provisions of this Act, unless otherwise expressed, in so far as they concern venereal diseases, shall be deemed to apply to primary or secondary syphilis, acute and chronic gonorrhoea, gonorrhoeal ophthalmia, soft chancre, lymphogranuloma inguinale, ulcerating granuloma and any other disease that may be declared by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette to be a venereal disease.
(1) Any person who, while suffering from any venereal disease in a communicable form, accepts or continues in employment either as an employee or on his own account in or about any factory, shop, hotel, restaurant, dwelling-house, or any place in any capacity entailing the care of children or the handling of food intended for consumption or of food utensils for use by any other person shall be guilty of an offence, unless he proves that he did not know or suspect, and had no reasonable means of knowing or suspecting, that he was so suffering.
(2) Every person shall be guilty of an offence who employs or continues to employ any person suffering from any venereal disease in a communicable form, if by reason of such employment such person is required or is permitted to have the care of children or to handle any food intended for consumption or food or household utensils, unless the employer proves that he did not know or suspect, and had no reasonable means of knowing or suspecting that the person so employed by him was suffering from such disease.
(3) If an employee who is employed in any manner set out in the preceding subsections is shown by a certificate signed by a registered or licensed medical practitioner to be suffering from a venereal disease, or if any employer has reasonable cause to suspect that such employee is suffering from a venereal disease and the said employee refuses to submit himself to medical examination, it shall be lawful for the employer summarily to dismiss the employee with payment of wages up to the date of dismissal.
(1) No person shall publish, exhibit or circulate any advertisement or statement intended to promote the sale of any medicine, appliance or article for the alleviation or cure of any venereal disease or disease affecting the generative organs or functions, or of sexual impotence or of any complaint or infirmity arising from or relating to sexual intercourse.
(2) No person shall hold out or recommend to the public by any notice or advertisement, or by any written or printed papersor handbills, or any label or words written or printed, affixed to or delivered with, any packet, box, bottle, phial or other enclosure containing the same, any pills, capsules, powders, lozenges, tinctures, potions, cordials, electuaries, plasters, unguents, salves, ointments, drops, lotions, oil, spirits, medicated herbs and waters or chemical and official preparations whatsoever, to be used or applied externally or internally as medicines or medicaments for the prevention, cure, or relief of any venereal disease or disease affecting the generative organs or functions, or sexual impotence, or of any complaint or infirmity arising from or relating to sexual intercourse.
(3) This section shall not apply to publications by or under the authority of the Secretary for Health, or by any local authority, public hospital, or other public body in the discharge of its lawful duties or by any society or person acting with the authority of the Government first obtained, or to any books, documents or papers published in good faith for the advancement of medical science.
No person, unless he is a registered or licensed medical practitioner, or a State registered nurse, or other person certified by the Secretary for Health to be competent to diagnose and treat venereal disease, shall for reward treat any person for venereal disease or suspected venereal disease or prescribe any remedy therefor, or give any advice in connexion with the treatment thereof, whether the advice is given to the person to be treated or to any other person.
No person shall wilfully or by culpable negligence infect any other person with venereal disease or do or permit or suffer any act likely to lead to the infection of any other person with such disease.
(1) Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Part shall be liable to a fine of £150 and to imprisonment for two years.
(2) When a person is convicted of an offence against this Part, the court may order any advertisement or written matter specified in section 55, or drugs, poisons, medicines, needles, syringes or surgical, medical or diagnostic instruments or appliances, published or used by, belonging to, or in the possession of the person convicted, to be forfeited, and to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of.
SANITATION AND HOUSING
No person shall cause a nuisance, or shall suffer to exist on any land or premises owned or occupied by him or of which he is in charge, any nuisance or other condition liable to be injurious or dangerous to health.
It shall be the duty of every local authority to take all lawful, necessary and reasonably practicable measures for maintaining its area at all times in clean and sanitary condition, and for preventing the occurrence therein of, or for remedying or causing to be remedied, any nuisance or condition liable to be injurious or dangerous to health and to take proceedings at law against any person causing or responsible for the continuance of any such nuisance or condition.
It shall be the duty of every local authority to take all lawful, necessary and reasonably practicable measures for preventing or causing to be prevented or remedied all conditions liable to be injurious or dangerous to health arising from the erection or occupation of unhealthy dwellings or premises, or the erection of dwellings or premises on unhealthy sites or on sites of insufficient extent, or from overcrowding, or from the construction, condition or manner of use of any factory or trade premises, and to take proceedings under the law or rules in force in its area against any person causing or responsible for the continuance of any such conditions:
Provided that no action shall be taken by any local authority in pursuance of this Part in respect of any factory if such action is calculated to interfere with the construction of any building or with the condition or manner of use of any machinery without the consent of the Chief Inspector of Factories.
The following shall be deemed to be nuisances liable to be dealt with in the manner provided in this Part—
(1) any vehicle in such a state or condition as to be injurious or dangerous to health;
(2) any dwelling or premises or part thereof which is or are of such construction or in such state or so situated or so dirty or so verminous or so damp as to be likely to be injurious or dangerous to health or which is or are liable to favour the spread of any infectious disease;
(3) any street, road or any part thereof, stream, pool, ditch, gutter, watercourse, sink, water tank, cistern, latrine, cesspool, soak-away pit, septic tank, cesspit, soil-pipe, waste-pipe, drain, sewer, garbage receptacle, dust bin, dung pit, refuse pit, slop tank or manure heap so foul or in such a state or so situated or constructed as to be offensive or to be likely to be injurious or dangerous to health;
(4) any well or other source of water supply or any cistern or other receptacle for water, whether public or private, the water from which is used or is likely to be used by human beings for drinking or domestic purposes or in connexion with any dairy, or in connexion with the manufacture or preparation of any article of food intended for human consumption, which is in a condition liable to render any such water injurious or dangerous to health;
(5) any noxious matter, or waste water, flowing or discharged from any premises, wherever situated, into any public street, or into the gutter or side channel of any street, or into any gully, swamp, or watercourse or irrigation channel not approved for the reception of such discharge;
(6) any collection of water, sewage, rubbish, refuse, ordure, or other fluid or solid substances which are offensive or which are dangerous or injurious to health or which permit or facilitate the breeding or multiplication of animal or vegetable parasites of men or domestic animals, or of insects or of other agents which are known to carry such parasites or which may otherwise cause or facilitate the infection of men or domestic animals by such parasites;
(7) any collection of water found to contain any of the immature stages of the mosquito;
(8) any cesspit, latrine, urinal, dung pit, or refuse pit found to contain any of the immature stages of the mosquito;
(9) any stable, cow shed or other building or premises used for keeping of animals or birds which is so constructed, situated, used or kept as to be offensive or which is injurious or dangerous to health;
(10) any animal or bird so kept as to be offensive or injurious to health;
(11) any accumulation of stones, timber, or other material of any nature whatever if such is likely, in the opinion of a medical officer of health, to harbour rats and other vermin, and any premises in such a state or condition and any building so constructed as to be likely to harbour rats;
(12) any dwelling or premises so overcrowded as to be injurious or dangerous to the health of the inmates, or dilapidated or defective in lighting or ventilation, or not provided with or so situated that such dwelling or premises cannot be provided with sanitary accommodation to the satisfaction of a medical officer of health;
(13) any public or other building which is so situated, constructed, used or kept as to be unsafe or injurious or dangerous to health;
(14) any occupied dwelling for which a proper, sufficient and wholesome water supply is not available within a reasonable distance;
(15) any factory or trade premises not kept in a cleanly state and free from offensive smell arising from any drain or latrine, or not ventilated so as to destroy or render harmless and inoffensive as far as practicable any gases, vapours, dust or other impurities generated, or so overcrowded or so badly lighted or ventilated as to be injurious or dangerous to the health of those employed therein;
(16) any factory or trade premises causing or giving rise to smells or effluvia which are injurious or dangerous to health;
(17) any area of land kept or permitted to remain in such a state as to be offensive, or liable to cause any infectious, communicable or preventable disease or injury or danger to health;
(18) any machinery sending forth smoke in such quantity or in such manner as to be offensive or injurious or dangerous to health;
(19) any cemetery, burial place, crematorium or other place of sepulture so situated or so crowded or otherwise so conducted as to be offensive or injurious or dangerous to health;
(20) any gutter, drain, shoot, stack pipe, down spout, water tank or cistern which by reason of its insufficiency or its defective condition shall cause damp in any dwelling;
(21) any deposit of material in or on any building or lane which shall cause damp in any building so as to be dangerous or injurious to health;
(22) any dwelling, public building, trade premises, workshop or factory not provided with sufficient and sanitary latrines;
(23) any act, omission, or thing which is or may be offensive, dangerous to life or injurious to health.
The author of a nuisance means the person by whose act, default or sufferance the nuisance is caused, exists or is continued, whether he be the owner or occupier or both owner and occupier or any other person.
A local authority or a medical officer of health, if satisfied of the existence of a nuisance, may serve a notice on the author of the nuisance, or, if he cannot be found, then on the occupier or owner of the dwelling or premises on which the nuisance arises or continues, requiring him to abate it within the time specified in the notice, and if the local authority or medical officer of health thinks it desirable (but not otherwise) any work to be executed to abate or prevent a recurrence of the said nuisance may be also specified in the notice:
(a) where the nuisance arises from any want or defect of a structural character, or where the dwelling or premises are unoccupied, the notice shall be served on the owner;
(b) where the author of the nuisance cannot be found or it is clear that the nuisance does not arise or continue by the act or default or sufferance of the occupier or owner of the dwelling or premises, the local authority shall abate the nuisance and may do what is necessary to prevent the recurrence thereof.
(1) If the person on whom a notice to abate a nuisance has been served as aforesaid fails to comply with any of the requirements thereof within the time specified, or if the nuisance although abated since the service of the notice is, in the opinion of the local authority, likely to recur on the same premises, the local authority may cause a complaint relating to such nuisance to be made before a Resident Magistrate’s court or a subordinate court of the first or second grade and such court may thereupon issue a summons requiring the person on whom the notice was served to appear before it.
(2) If the court is satisfied that the alleged nuisance exists, or that although abated it is likely to recur on the same premises the court shall make an order on the author thereof, or the occupier or owner of the dwelling or premises, as the case may be, requiring him to comply with all or any of the requirements of the notice or otherwise to abate the nuisance within a time specified in the order and to do any works necessary for that purpose; or an order prohibiting the recurrence of the nuisance and directing the execution of any works necessary to prevent the recurrence, or an order both requiring abatement and prohibiting the recurrence of the nuisance.
(3) The court may by such order impose a fine of £20 on the person on whom the order is made and may also give directions as to the payment of all costs incurred up to the time of the hearing or making of the order for the abatement of the nuisance.
(4) Before making any order, the court may, if it thinks fit, adjourn the hearing or further hearing of the summons until an inspection, investigation or analysis in respect of the nuisance alleged has been made by some competent person.
(5) Where the nuisance proved to exist is such as to render a dwelling unfit, in the judgment of the court, for human habitation, the court may issue a closing order prohibiting the use thereof as a dwelling until in its judgment the dwelling is fit for that purpose; and may further order that no rent shall be due or payable by or on behalf of the occupier of that dwelling in respect of the period in which the closing order exists; and on the court being satisfied that such dwelling has again been rendered fit for use as a dwelling the court may terminate the closing order and by a further order declare the dwelling habitable, and from the date thereof such dwelling may be let or inhabited.
Notwithstanding any such last-mentioned order, further proceedings may be taken in accordance with this section in respect of the same dwelling in the event of any nuisance occurring or of the dwelling being again found to be unfit for human habitation.
(1) Any person who fails to obey an order by a court to comply with the requirements of a local authority or medical officer of health or otherwise to abate the nuisance, shall, unless he satisfies the court that he has used all diligence to carry out such order, be liable to a fine of £5 for every day during which the default continues; any person wilfully acting in contravention of a closing order issued under the last preceding section shall be liable to a fine of £5 for every day during which the contravention continues.
(2) The local authority may in such a case enter the premises to which any such order relates and abate the nuisance or do whatever may be necessary in the execution of such order and recover in a Resident Magistrate’s court or a subordinate court of the first or second grade the expenses incurred from the person on whom the order is made.
Whenever it appears to the satisfaction of the court that the person by whose act or default the nuisance arises, or that the owner or occupier of the premises is not known or cannot be found, the court may at once order the local authority to execute the works thereby directed and the cost of executing the same shall be a charge on the property on which the said nuisance exists.
Where the court has twice within a period of three months issued an order as specified in section 65 (2) relating to overcrowding of the same premises or part of the same premises the court may, on the application of a local authority, order such premises to be closed for such period as the court may deem necessary.
Any matter or thing removed by a local authority in abating any nuisance under this Part may be sold by public auction, and the money arising from the sale may be retained by the local authority, and applied in payment of the expenses incurred by them in reference to such nuisance, and the surplus (if any) shall be paid, on demand, to the owner of such matter or thing if he shall establish his claim thereto within two years from the date of such sale, failing which such surplus shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.
(1) Where any nuisance liable to be dealt with in the manner provided in this Part appears to be wholly or partly caused by the acts or defaults of two or more persons, a local authority may institute proceedings against any one of such person or may include all or any two or more of them in one proceeding, and any one or more of such persons may be ordered to abate the nuisance, so far as it appears to be caused by his or their acts or defaults or may be prohibited from continuing any acts or defaults which contribute to the nuisance, or may be fined or otherwise dealt with notwithstanding that the acts or default of any one of such persons would not separately have caused a nuisance, and the costs may be distributed as may appear to the court fair and reasonable.
(2) Proceedings under the preceding subsection against several persons included in one complaint shall not abate by reason of the death of any of the persons so included, but all such proceedings may be carried on as if such deceased person had not been originally so included.
(3) Where some only of the persons by whose act or default any nuisance has been caused or partly caused have been proceeded against under this Part, they shall, without prejudice to any other remedy, be entitled to recover from any other persons who were not so proceeded against and by whose act or default the said nuisance was caused or partly caused a proportionate part of the costs of and incidental to such proceedings and abating such nuisance, and of any fine and costs ordered to be paid in such proceedings.
(1) Where in the opinion of the Minister a nuisance exists with respect to premises which in his opinion are so dilapidated or so defectively constructed or so situated that repairs to or alterations of such premises are not likely to remove the nuisance the Minister may issue a demolition order ordering the owner of the premises to commence to demolish them on or before a specified day, being at least one month from the date of issuing the order, and to complete the demolition and to remove the materials which comprised the premises from the site before another specified day:
Provided that at least one month before issuing such a demolition order notice of the intention to issue such an order shall be served on the owner of the premises who may make representations in respect thereof to the Minister. The Minister shall consider any representations so made before issuing a demolition order under this section.
(2) The Minister shall give notice to the occupier of the premises in respect of which a demolition order has been issued requiring him to vacate the premises within a time to be specified in such notice, and if any person fails to comply with the notice or enters the premises, without lawful excuse, after the date specified in the notice, he shall be guilty of an offence.
(3) If any person fails to comply with an order for demolition issued under this section he shall be guilty of an offence and be liable to pay the daily fine provided in section 66 (1), and the Minister may cause the premises to be demolished and may recover from the owner the expenses incurred in doing so after deducting the net proceeds of the sale of the materials which the Minister may sell by auction.
(4) No compensation shall be paid to the owner or occupier of any premises in respect of the demolition thereof as aforesaid.
(5) For the purposes of this section the Minister means the Minister for the time being responsible for land.
(1) The Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette, prohibit within any area defined in such notice—
(a) the erection of any premises intended to be used as a dwelling constructed on the back-to-back system; or
(b) the erection of any room intended to be used as a sleeping or living or work room which is not provided with an external window or windows having a total area not less than one-tenth of the floor area, at least half of such window or windows being capable of being opened:
(i) any such room which is without a fireplace and flue shall in addition be provided with a fresh air inlet having an unobstructed sectional area of at least thirty square inches;
(ii) such windows or inlets shall be so placed as to secure through or cross ventilation; or
(c) the erection of any premises intended to be used as a dwelling on made ground containing street sweepings, refuse, rubbish or other matter liable to decomposition unless the approval of the local authority has been obtained and such measures for safeguarding health have been taken as such local authority may require.
(2) Any person who contravenes any provision of this section shall be liable to a fine of £50 and to a further fine of £2 for every day during which such contravention continues after the date fixed in any written notice in respect thereof from the local authority.
(1) All reasonable costs and expenses incurred in serving a notice, making a complaint or obtaining a nuisance order, or in carrying the order into effect, shall be deemed to be money paid for the use and at the request of the person on whom the order is made; or, if no order is made but the nuisance is proved to have existed when the notice was served or the complaint made, then of the author of the nuisance.
(2) Such costs and expenses incurred in relation to any such nuisance may be recovered as a civil debt, and the court shall have power to divide such costs and expenses between the authors as to it may seem just.
(3) Where, in accordance with this Act, a local authority has itself abated a nuisance, or done what is necessary to prevent a recurrence thereof, if no owner or occupier of the premises can be found, or appears or pays the expenses thereby incurred within six months after the completion of the abatement of such nuisance, the court may order the premises upon which the work shall have been done, or any part thereof, or any movable property found thereon, to be sold by public auction, and the amount realized by such sale shall be applied in defraying such costs and expenses, and the balance (if any) paid over to the owner or occupier if he shall establish his claim thereto within two years after the date of such sale failing which such balance shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.
A local authority or a health officer may, at all reasonable times, enter any premises for the purpose of ascertaining the existence of any nuisance therein; and the local authority may, if necessary, open up the ground of such premises and cause the drains to be tested, or such other work to be done as may be necessary for the effectual examination of the said premises:
Provided that if no nuisance is found to exist the local authority shall restore the premises at their own expense.
The Minister may make Rules, and may confer powers and impose duties in connexion with the carrying out and enforcement thereof on local authorities, owners and others as to—
(a) the inspection of land, dwellings, buildings, factories and trade premises, and for securing the keeping of the same clean and free from nuisance and so as not to endanger the health of the inmates or the public health;
(b) the construction of buildings, the provision of proper lighting and ventilation, and the prevention of overcrowding;
(c) the periodical cleansing and white-washing or other treatment of premises and the cleansing of land attached thereto and the removal of rubbish or refuse therefrom;
(d) the drainage of land, streets or premises, the disposal of offensive liquids and the removal and disposal of rubbish, refuse, manure and waste matters;
(e) the standard or standards of purity of any liquid which, after treatment in any purification works, may be discharged therefrom as effluent;
(f) the keeping of animals or birds and the construction, cleanliness and drainage of places where animals or birds are kept;
(g) the establishment and carrying on of offensive trades, factories or trade premises which are liable to cause offensive smells or effluvia, or to discharge liquid or other material liable to cause such smells or effluvia, or to pollute streams, or are otherwise liable to be a nuisance or injurious or dangerous to health, and for prohibiting the establishment or carrying on of such factories or trade premises in unsuitable localities or so as to be a nuisance or injurious or dangerous to health;
(h) the subdivision and general lay-out of land intended to be used as building sites, the level, construction, number, direction, and the width of streets and thoroughfares, the limitation of the number of dwellings or other buildings to be erected on such land, the proportion of any building site which may be built upon and the establishment of zones within which different limitations shall apply and zones within which may be prohibited the establishment or conduct of occupations or trades likely to cause nuisance or annoyance to persons residing in the neighbourhood;
(i) the inspection of the district of any local authority by that local authority with a view to ascertain whether the lands and buildings thereon are in a state to be injurious or dangerous to health and the preparation, keeping, and publication of such records as may be required;
(j) the control of houses let in lodgings, the fixing of the maximum number of lodgers, the minimum floor space allotted to each lodger, the adequate ventilation and lighting and periodical cleansing and lime washing at stated intervals of the premises, the provision of adequate sanitary appliances and other requirements having for their object the protection of the health of the lodgers or surrounding inhabitants;
(k) the sanitary control of markets and market buildings.
(1) The power under section 75 to make Rules relating to the construction of buildings shall include the power to regulate all or any of the following matters—
(a) as regards building—
(i) the materials to be used in the construction of buildings;
(ii) the space about buildings and the dimensions of rooms intended for human habitation;
(iii) the height of buildings; the height of chimneys, not being separate buildings, above the roof of the building of which they form part;
(b) as regards works and fittings—
(i) sanitary conveniences in connexion with buildings, the drainage of buildings, including the means for conveying soil, waste, storm and subsoil water from buildings and their curtilages and cesspools and other means for the reception or disposal of foul matter in connexion with buildings;
(ii) refuse pits in connexion with buildings;
(iii) wells, tanks and cisterns for the supply of water for human consumption in connexion with buildings;
(iv) stoves and other fittings in buildings (not being electric stoves or fittings), in so far as rules with respect to such matters are required for the purpose of health and the prevention of fire;
(v) private and public sewers and communications between drains and sewers and between sewers.
(2) Any Rules to which this section relates may include provisions as to—
(a) the giving of notices and the deposit of plans, sections, specifications and written particulars;
(b) the inspection of work, the protection and testing of drains and private sewers, and the taking by the local authority of samples of materials to be used in the construction of buildings, or in the execution of other works;
(c) the protection of public sewers; and
(d) the examination and licensing of plumbers and drain layers.
(1) If any work to which any Rules referred to in section 76 are applicable contravenes any of those Rules, the local authority, without prejudice to its right to take proceedings for a fine in respect of the contravention, may by notice require the owner either to pull down or remove the work or, if he so elects, to effect such alterations therein as may be necessary to make it comply with the Rules.
(2) If a person to whom a notice has been given under the foregoing provisions of this section fails to comply with the notice before the expiration of twenty-eight days, or such longer period as the authority may allow, the authority may pull down or remove the work in question, or effect such alterations therein as it deems necessary, and may recover from him the expenses reasonably incurred by it in so doing.
(3) No such notice as is mentioned in subsection (1) shall be given after the expiration of twelve months from the date of the completion of the work in question, and, in any case where plans were deposited, it shall not be open to the authority to give such a notice on the ground that the work contravenes any building rule, if either the plans were passed by the authority, or notice of their rejection was not given within the prescribed period from the deposit thereof, and if the work has been executed in accordance with the plans and of any requirement made by the authority as a condition of passing the plans.
CONSERVANCY, SEWERAGE AND DRAINAGE
(1) In this Part unless the context otherwise requires the following terms shall have the following meanings—
“cesspool” means a tank or receptacle for the reception of sewage and foul matter for which no automatic outlet is provided;
“earth-closet” means a closet for the reception of faecal matter into a movable receptacle in which it is deodorized by the use of earth, ashes, chemicals or by some other method;
“lateral drain” means that portion of a system of drains or private sewers, which—
(a) in the case of a sewer for soil and waste water, lies between the intercepting chamber and the public sewer (including the intercepting trap and sewer connexion); or
(b) in the case of a sewer for storm water, lies between the last inspection chamber and the public sewer, or, if there be no inspection chamber, between the curtilage of the premises and the public sewer;
“prejudicial to health” means injurious or likely to cause injury to health;
“private sewer” means a sewer which is not a public sewer;
“privy” means a closet for the reception of faecal matter into a non-movable receptacle and includes a pit latrine or a bored-hole latrine;
“public sewer” means any sewer vested in or constructed by or on behalf of or under the control of a local authority;
“septic tank” means a tank or receptacle for the reception of sewage or foul matter for the effluent from which an automatic outlet is provided;
“sewer” does not include a drain as defined in section 3 but, save as aforesaid, includes all sewers and drains used for the drainage of buildings and yards appurtenant to buildings and their curtilages;
“soil water” means any discharge from water-closets or urinals and all water containing excremental liquid or substance;
“storm water” includes surface or rain water;
“waste water” means liquid waste of a non-excremental nature but does not include storm water;
“water-closet” means latrine accommodation used, adapted or intended to be used in connexion with a water carriage system and comprising provision for the flushing of the receptacle by means of water;
“workplace” does not include a factory or workshop but save as aforesaid includes any place in which persons are employed otherwise than in domestic service.
(2) Any reference in this Part to a drain or sewer shall be construed as including a reference to any manholes, ventilating shafts, pumps or other accessories belonging to that drain or sewer.
(3) For the purpose of this Part, a building or proposed building shall not be deemed to have a public sewer available unless—
(a) there is or there is in course of construction within one hundred feet of the curtilages of the building or proposed building, and at a level which makes it reasonably practicable to construct a drain to communicate therewith, a public sewer or other sewer which the owner of the building or proposed building is, or will be, entitled to use; and
(b) the intervening land is land through which he is entitled to construct a drain, and shall not be deemed to have a sufficient water supply available unless it has a sufficient supply of water laid on or unless such a supply can be laid on to it from a point within one hundred feet of the curtilage of the building or proposed building, and the intervening land is land through which the owner of the building or proposed building is, or will be, entitled to lay a communication pipe:
Provided that, for the purposes of this definition, the limit of one hundred feet shall not apply, if the local authority undertakes to bear so much of the expenses reasonably incurred in constructing a drain to communicate with a public sewer or, as the case may be, in laying a pipe for the purpose of obtaining a supply of water, as may be attributable to the fact that the distance of the public sewer, or of the point from which a supply of water can be laid on, exceeds one hundred feet as aforesaid.
(1) A local authority may within its district and also, subject to the prior approval of the Minister without its district—
(a) construct and maintain a public sewer—
(i) in, under or over any street, or under any cellar or vault below any street; and
(ii) in, or over any land not forming part of a street, after giving reasonable notice to every owner and occupier of that land;
(b) construct sewage disposal works on any customary land or public land or land acquired, or lawfully appropriated for the purpose.
(2) In the exercise of its powers under subsection 1 (a) (ii), the local authority shall not be liable to pay any compensation to an owner or occupier of any private lands but shall make good, or, at its option, shall pay for any damage done or occasioned by reason of the exercise of the said powers.
(1) Every local authority shall keep deposited at its offices, for inspection by any person at all reasonable hours, free of charge, a map showing and distinguishing all public sewers existing or in course of construction within its district or under its control.
(2) Where some of the public sewers are reserved for soil and waste water only or for storm water only, the map referred to in this section shall show also the purposes which each sewer is intended to serve.
A local authority may alter the size or course of any public sewer vested in it, or may discontinue and prohibit the use of any such public sewer, either entirely, or for the purpose of soil and waste water drainage, or for the purpose of storm water drainage, but, before any person who is lawfully using the public sewer for any purpose is deprived by the authority of the use of the sewer for that purpose, the authority shall provide a public sewer equally effective for his use for that purpose and shall at its expense make his drains or sewers to communicate with the sewer so provided.
(1) No person shall throw, empty or turn, or suffer or permit to be thrown or emptied or to pass, into any public sewer, or into any drain or private sewer communicating with a public sewer—
(a) any matter likely to injure the sewer or drain, or to interfere with the free flow of its contents, or to affect prejudicially the treatment and disposal of its contents; or
(b) any chemical refuse or waste steam, or any liquid of a temperature higher than one hundred and ten degrees Fahrenheit, being refuse or steam, which, or a liquid which when so heated, is, either alone or in combination with the contents of the sewer or drain, dangerous or the cause of a nuisance, or prejudicial to health; or
(c) any petroleum spirit, or carbide of calcium.
(2) A person who contravenes any of the provisions of this section shall be liable to a fine of £10 and to a further fine of £5 for each day on which the offence continues after conviction therefor.
Right to Connect with Public Sewers
Subject to this section and section 86, the owner or occupier of any premises, or the owner of any private sewer, within the district of a local authority shall be entitled to have his drains or private sewer made to communicate with any available public sewer of that authority, and thereby to discharge soil and waste water and storm water from those premises or that private sewer:
Provided that nothing in this section shall entitle any person—
(a) to discharge directly or indirectly into any public sewer—
(i) any liquid from a manufacturing process or any liquid from a factory, other than domestic sewage or storm water except by agreement with the local authority;
(ii) any liquid or other matter the discharge of which into public sewers is prohibited under this Act or any other law; or
(b) where separate public sewers are provided for soil and waste water and for storm water, to discharge directly or indirectly—
(i) soil or waste water into a sewer provided for storm water; or
(ii) except with the approval of the authority, storm water into a sewer provided for soil and waste water; or
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