FORGOTTEN HEROES behind Polio ERADICATION
In 2011, WHO made an announcement that Poliomyelitis or Polio as it is widely known around the world has finally disappeared from the face of the earth. Again in 2014 WHO declared that India is finally free from Polio. Polio has been one amongst the most dreaded diseases of our times and eradicating it from the world was only possible because of two very great, selfless scientists who developed the vaccines and the decision makers, people, and systems who helped mass produce and mobilize those vaccines around every corner of the world.
The two researchers who developed the polio vaccine were Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin. Interesting fact about both of these personalities was that they were Jewish and born to immigrant parents in the US. One of the most admired world leaders of his time Franklin D Roosevelt got infected with polio when he was well into his adulthood- suffering with a disease which almost crippled him when he was at the top of his political career, which prompted him to establish the non-profit “March of Dimes” which became the major organization funding the research to find vaccines for Polio.
Jonas Salk, who is credited with finding the first polio vaccine had to fight against ODDS in the leading institutes of his time and finally ended up enrolling at New York University to earn his undergraduate degree in medicine. After his post-graduate studies and research, he was granted an independent lab by the University of Pittsburgh to continue his research on virology. Though this lab was short on resources and equipment, Salk did not give up and kept pushing on. Finally leveraging his connections with the Mellon family, he was able to put together a team of researchers and a fully functional lab. All his research and trials came to fruitful ending when his vaccine was announced safe in the year 1955. Another notable scientist Albert Sabin was also working on finding a cure for polio who was also a graduate of the New York University. Since Albert Sabin’s vaccine could be administered orally, Sabin’s vaccine formulation was widely used all over the world in an attempt to eradicate polio. The notable thing about both of these great men was that neither of them chose to patent their vaccines- they would have made them billionaires, had they chose to patent it which they did not.
Entrepreneurship is not about making money, it is about bringing that change, making that impact and touching human lives. I can’t think of better examples of being TRUE BLUE Entrepreneurs than these two scientists because of whom today the world is able to WALK AND USE HANDS to best. We SALUTE the SPIRITS of Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin who made something so impactful to humanity and chose SERVING the society over MONETARY benefits.
Money should never be the starting point, it’s just a derivative.
Don’t be motivated by fame and money to start the journey on contrary FOCUS on IMPACT.
So, tell us in the comments currently what problems in the world do you see which are still not solved and which are impacting millions of people around the world?