Rickets makes a UK comeback
This is the tip of the iceberg of a Vitamin D deficit which is affecting increasing numbers of patients including both adults and children.
Some clinical studies are suggesting that up to 50% of individuals in some ethnic minority communities have Vitamin D deficiency.
Although not exclusively a problem for ethnic minorities it could be that migration plays a part in the high incidence amongst groups like Somalis.
Although there is no obvious research link as yet, but common sense tells us that as sunlight is the major source of Vitamin D, insufficient exposure to it may be causing problems.
Those who historically lived at lower latitudes where the sun is more intense may find this may be affecting them.
The symptoms are chronic tiredness, aching joints, dizziness, sometimes seizures or fits in young children.
Abdi Weli Osman who is an advocate for Somalis in Kilburn claims that as well as making it difficult for adults to hold down jobs, Vitamin D deficiency is showing itself in poor performance in school and even stress in relationships leading to marital breakdowns.
Some Somalis are presenting Vitamin D levels 10 times lower than the expected norm.
Unlike back in Victorian times, we understand symptoms and cause and we have a ready medicinal remedy.
GPs like Dr Stephen Nickless at the Brondesbury Medical Centre in West London say the problem is once identified they are struggling to treat the condition.
The reason; Vitamin D clinically prescribed supplements have been in shortage for over a year in some places.
Pharmacists like Mike Ritson of ABC Pharmacies say it has been nigh on impossible to get either the high dosage tablets or injections from the single supplier in this country.
Of course that begs the question why there is only one supplier and other European Union manufacturers have not had their product licensed in the UK.
What seems ridiculous is that Vitamin D supplements, the prescription variety, are declared an essential drug by the World Health Organisation.
You'd think that there would therefore be ready stocks of the medicine in a sophisticated country like our own.
Unfortunately the way the pharmaceutical market works is that the risk associated with producing the drug is with the commercial sector.
In other words, who bears the cost if the drug is produced in large quantities and it is not then prescribed? In the circumstances commercial companies only produce according to predicted demand.
As the problem of Vitamin D deficiency has become more widely recognised in the past few years production has lagged seriously behind rocketing demand.
The Department of Health told me they are in discussions with other suppliers to see if they might like to produce the drug. They blame manufacturers for not alerting them to the ongoing shortages.
They have at least publically, acknowledged that there is an ongoing problem.
The Department of Health went on to tell me that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency should be doing something to rectify the situation. The MHRA told me that a supply problem is for the Department of Health to rectify.
Well, whilst they argue among themselves we can safely assume that the incidence of rickets will continue to rise and those with the chronic symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency will continue to suffer, creating untold costs for the economy.
In a word: bonkers.