sábado, 24 de outubro de 2009


Preconceived notions are so powerful! Not rarely the mind blocks the incongruence and puts itself upon the eyes. That is frequently more damaging to the credibility of what we believe to be truth than ignorance by itself. Rotary International and its distinguished partners in the world are about to achieve one of the biggest conquests of always to the welfare of mankind. I believe it is pertinent to render my modest tribute to that effort and to its artisans, using as main informative source, among others, the important document A Century of Service, The history of Rotary International.
In the spring of 1972, Charles Rowlands, then governor of the rotary district 730, from Pennsylvania, and its successor Niles Norman, attended Rotary Club of Oakland session at the Pittsburgh section, in the United States. The keynote addresses on professional services have a long tradition in Rotary. In that scope and on that day it was the turn of the elected club president who was about to assume its place, Dr. Robert Hingson, to tell the story of his career.
Hingson had invented what he called a “peace gun» and explained to the club how it could be used with multiple doses of vaccines injected to immunize a large number of people infinitely faster than with the method of the traditional syringe. The WHO had successfully used this weapon in the mass immunization against smallpox. Dr. Jonas Salk, born 96 years ago in New York, being 41 years old at the time, at his team of researchers, gave to the world the first vaccine against polio freeing millions of families from the asphyxia from the fear in the endless days passing by. Salk’s polio vaccine that prevailed then was injectable. The idea of mass immunization against poliomyelitis began, in fact, here. The history of the great challenges has always fascinated man. The Egyptian pyramids or the Great Wall of China as well as the hundreds of giant statues in the Easter Island in Polynesia still nowadays impress wise man and nonbelievers only due to the fact that it was able to raise them. The maritime work of Infante D. Henrique (Henry the Navigator), the accomplishments of Vasco da Gama, of Ferdinand Magellan or Christopher Columbus, touch us because of their boldness in face of the scarce resources of the time. Gavin Menzies, obviously controversial, raises our admiration with the book 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, by invoking the long navigation of Zheng He fleet throughout all the continents a quarter of century before the achievements of the Iberian seamanship. I find in this entrepreneurial spirit and such tremendous boldness facing the unknown, more than travelling to space, many similarities with what would be the involvement in the Saga of polio.
(To be continued in B)

Henrique Pinto
October 09 in World Polio Day
PHOTOS: Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese navigator who discovered the way to get India through the sea, in the 15th century; Henrique Pinto and RIPP Carl-whilhelm Stenhammar (who chairs RI Polio Initiative Task Force), good friends in an Institute break; Dr. Albert Sabin 1906-93

1 comentário:

  1. Vila Real, 24 de Outubro de 2009

    Caros Amigos Maria da Graça, Andreia e Companheiro Henrique Pinto,

    Desde logo, votos de boa saúde e de sucessos para todos vós.

    Tenho seguido o Medicult e parabéns pelo trabalho que representa.

    Vi o número de hoje e gostei relembrar a já “histórica” deslocação a Angola com o Companheiro Carlos Lança que já nos deixou.

    Tentei mas não consigo imprimir uma pagina isolada. Que se passará? Será do meu programa?

    Saudações amigas da Lena e do Manuel Cardona.