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Development Of Salk Polio Vaccine Holds Relevant Lessons For Tackling Disease On Global Scale

Newsweek: Let’s Celebrate the Man Who Conquered Polio
Sue Desmond-Hellman, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“April 12 marks the 60th anniversary of the polio vaccine. The incredible story of Jonas Salk’s historic breakthrough deserves to be remembered — and it holds very relevant lessons for the world today. … Tackling diseases on a global scale — let alone eliminating them outright — is an audacious goal, and immensely complex in execution. … It requires developing a very effective treatment or cure, finding a way to get it to every person on the planet who needs it and, perhaps most difficult of all, navigating such issues as mistrust in novel medicines, cultural barriers, government instability, and funding gaps. … Working through problems of this scale can feel overwhelming. It requires a lot of patience and humility. But make no mistake — we are better prepared to do this now than at any other time in history thanks to the brilliant and creative minds getting involved. … Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a health worker, a student, a volunteer, an advocate — we all must play a part if we want to change history…” (4/11).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.