Thank you Jonas Salk!
Talk about being a giving person! Jonas Salk is a noble American hero who gave up the equivalent of eight billion dollars for his discovery of the polio vaccine.
Imagine, a disease that ravages the neuromuscular systems of children. A disease that lurks in public places, especially public pools; viral “incubators” of the dreaded disease. A disease so bad, that at one point in history children were secluded inside their homes by terrified parents.
If a child contracted the disease, he or she could be struck with paralysis to the point of needing a ventilator. Affected victims of the era were confined to the medieval sounding, “iron lung”- the ventilator of the time.
An American president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, suffered the lingering effects of this debilitating virus. He was limited to leg braces (publicly) or a wheel-chair; out of the public eye.
Salk, by giving up the rights to a patent on his discovery, made the vaccination affordable to all. The vaccine was distributed worldwide with help from the World Health Organization.
Sadly, Pakistan is currently suffering an outbreak of polio. Those who are administering the vaccinations are the targets of the Taliban, who believe the drops are given to the children as part of a Western plot to “sterilize” them. 64 workers or security staff have been killed thus far as they follow in the steps of Jonas Salk, giving all they have.
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Video on Pakistan’s outbreak and threatened health workers.