For which the impact of the changes has brought the mortality rate of convicts on board to a lower rating.
From the embarkation of convicts for their exile to a remote or distant land, several emotional responses are encountered - swearing, cursing, wrangling, and lamenting. Included in it, is the verdict that they will be going through while on board a transport. Their predicaments initially in the hulks during their actual voyages include such as: authorities who less care about their welfare, and the unsanitary conditions, resulting them to death before, during or immediately, after the voyage, where historians attribute the initially high mortality rates to a failure in organization.1
To ensure convicts' health and welfare, standard operating procedures are conveyed with a brief summary of regulations such that: The British Government has hitherto regarded the transportation of prisoners as the chief mode of providing labor in the colonies; punishment and utility have been connected so as to render convict labor alike beneficial to the colonists and conducive to the best interests of the parent state; all convicts sent out are to be newly clad, and ample rations of wholesome food are to be apportioned to them; health is preserved by cleanliness, which is strictly attended to, and the ship owners are bounded by the terms of their charter to supply each prisoner with at least half-a-gallon of water per day; and care is also taken that they are not subjected to any oppressive or capricious treatment.2
Attempts had been made to reduce the death rates in prison hulks, including the provision of adequate space, proper nutrition, personal cleanliness, hygienic living conditions, reasonable working conditions, regular medical care, the exclusion and isolation of those with contagious diseases, and also an opportunity for secular redemption. The result was impressive. Death rate in the hulks had been reduced. However, after a period of experimentation and learning, they were repeated on the convict ships. Though, initially, improvements were achieved in the hulks.3
The evidences according to records describe and picture convict voyages with much higher mortality rating than in the later phases. Deaths were caused more by diseases than by accidents and violence. Where, most deaths that were caused by diseases are attributed to acute infectious diseases rather than to chronic diseases. The main acute infectious diseases cited are dysentery in the Atlantic slave trade; typhus, cholera, and smallpox on European voyages to North America and Australia; cholera and meningitis on Indian voyages to Fiji; and dysentery on Pacific Islander voyages to Fiji and Queensland.
The occurrences of epidemics on intercontinental voyages created differentiating opinions that caused some individuals to conduct researches comparing the early and the later phase of the convict era. During the early phase (before 1815), determining factors before the embarkation of convicts aboard comprehend the high mortality rates of convicts. The lack of immunity of the populations at the ports or regions of embarkation to a range of acute infectious diseases, and the ease with which these diseases spread in the often unsanitary conditions under which passengers were housed prior to embarkation. Medical examinations prior to embarkation were perfunctory. Infectious diseases were often carried on board by sick passengers where