Monthly Archives: April 2013

A Remarkable Story of Progress

Sometimes, it gets to be so tiring listening to the day’s news. All that crap and bad news that gets thrown our way!

If it’s not a religious war, it’s an act of terror. Then, it’s a beaten down economy, a building collapse that kills, or corrupt politicians.

So, it feels great when you can take a deliberate step back and find something quite different.  Like progress.

This post is about compelling, big-league progress – in medical science, in governance and for humanity, against a dreaded disease. It’s progress worth talking about.

Polio has been one of the most debilitating disease of this century.

Therefore, it’s great to discover, to share and to spread some wonderful news about polio –

  • In 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio reported worldwide. In 2012? Two hundred and twenty-three. Yes, that’s 223 (and only 22 cases reported so far this year).
  • The last remaining cases of polio in the world are limited to three countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria)
  • India has been polio free for more than two years!
  • Since 1988, the polio vaccine has prevented more than 10 million cases of paralysis and more than 500,000 deaths

Now, that’s what I call remarkable progress.  You can take that to the bank!

And what a great way to start your day and week, instead of the usual bad crap that ends up taking too much space in your brain. Right?

POLIO_TransitTeamIndia_450x300

Click on the photo to see what The Gates Foundation is doing to eradicate polio

[With progress comes responsibility. The CDC says that if children are not vaccinated against polio, i.e., if we were to stop our current vaccination efforts, then within a decade we would see a resurgence of polio that could paralyze more than 200,000 children worldwide every year].

The WHO, UNICEF and the Gates Foundation have been pouring in their resources to ensure that the disease gets eradicated. Many of the successful processes used in India are being tapped to focus on the last three remaining countries where polio continues to exist.

The goal?

That the world is completely polio free by 2015. And stays that way.

With all the focus that exists on reaching this goal and the positive trends so far, it’s fair to assume that this will meet with success.  

Did you know that polio would then be only the second disease (after smallpox) in all of human history that would be completely eradicated due to progress in medical science?

Phenomenal, celebration-worthy progress indeed! 

Do spread the word. 

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Polio - Global Eradication Initiative

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Boston!

This week witnessed the terrible bombing at a sporting event – the revered Boston Marathon of all things! We witnessed it over and over and over on TV.

America once again felt the rare carnage, one that unfortunately some countries in other parts of the world take as their normal.

Americans reacted with shock and grief as innocent people lost lives and limbs. It was a major tragedy, anyway you looked at it.

But here’s something that I and so many people saw clearly in this tragedy.

After the first bomb exploded, what would you expect the reaction of the rest of the people who were around there would be? To run for cover, of course. That would be the normal reaction.

Here’s what I saw instead.

Rather than everyone running for cover at the sight and sound of that horrific explosion, some people there started running towards the explosions, both after the first and second bomb went off.

They ran towards it to help the wounded and the dying. To me, that was an amazing, heroic act of selflessness and  – so moving to see.

May the resilience and the compassion of the people of this great city help it heal!

See this video, Heroes Emerge at Boston Marathon Explosion Site.

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“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” 

― Fred Rogers

 

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