Disease Warriors


This paper discusses different matters relating to Disease Warriors. It answers vital questions concerning various diseases highlighted in the episodes and significant individuals, who contributed to the development of diseases. The world is a wonderful place to live in. For ages, man has always struggled to make the world a better place to live in. His tireless efforts to fight daily challenges and employ different strategies to counter these problems are always geared towards making a better tomorrow for the coming generation. The biggest challenge is to improve human health as far as the emergence of different diseases is concerned. Over the years, human beings have tried to study the causes of different diseases that have always caused man to suffer and taste the bitter kiss of death in a bid to find a better immunization or vaccination for the diseases. The documentary Disease Warriors depicts such efforts by ancient researchers in their quest to critically analyze, and understand various diseases that have been identified in various parts of the world. Moreover, the documentary presents a series of events that prompted early scientists to dedicate their time to trying to find out remedies to these problems. The paper tackles in brief many of such trends in the history of human health. Notably, the paper highlights various diseases witnessed in the contemporary world and global efforts put forward to fight these health problems among them being polio, cholera, dysentery, small pox, SARS, tuberculosis, and the deadly HIV/AIDS. These diseases have evolved in recent years, and medical experts are hoping that the on-going research would help alleviate the effects caused by these diseases, and make the world a better place to live. This paper also describes different diseases, their origins, and their effects on individuals.

“Disease Warriors” and Epidemiology

Question 1:

In previous decades, man had little understanding about infectious diseases. Consequently, no weapons were available to combat various infectious diseases that continued to plague humans.  Notably, man always had numerous endeavors to study and research on these diseases in a bid to fight them. In the series, Disease Warriors it chronicles the work our early ancestors both men and women, who tirelessly made efforts to understand diseases and the real factors behind these diseases. These researchers included famous individuals such as scientist Louis Pasteur, who was a prolific contributor of various findings and later on unmasked germs as one of the most significant sources of illness to human beings. Louis Pasteur through his relentless efforts and in-depth research and findings went on to develop a chicken cholera vaccine, and a rabies vaccine, which marked a great scientific triumph in the world at that time. The success of this great scientist was received warmly around the world, because of his great contribution to the wellbeing of human beings as far as the fight against diseases was concerned. Currently, the availability of vaccines provided by medical laboratories to hospitals and clinics has allowed them to make significant steps to fight various diseases such as epidemics, smallpox, and conquer a number of similar ailments as well as spearheading the global fight towards the eradication of polio among other diseases. However, the world still encounters enormous challenges in accessing basic vaccines, especially to those individuals who are in urgent need for them and in creating new ones to combat modern threats such as HIV/AIDS. Precisely, the series enlightens the viewer that indeed the problem of diseases started way before Pasteur and Jenner. The series illustrates the numerous efforts in research that were, and are being dedicated to better understand the worst diseases, and if more research is directed to fight current diseases, there will be a time when vaccines against these diseases will be discovered. Therefore, today’s man is encouraged to tirelessly seek to understand these diseases and create new vaccines that will help stop demises related to these diseases. This series helps individuals establish a connection between their lives, their health, and global health by making comparisons.

Question 2:

Naysan Sahba UNICEF organizer and distributor of the polio vaccination program in India, which at the time was the largest immunization program undertaken in the world. Mr. Sahba also performed house-to-house visits to promote the program,

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Anju Puri UNICEF made house-to-house visits trying to convince people to immunize their children and themselves. Ms. Puri spoke about the open sewer systems with Mr. Sahba and the correlation between the spread of the disease and the open sewers as a source of drinking water.

Bill Foege, Former Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Mr. Foege introduced ring vaccination in the Nigerian campaign to wipeout smallpox. He enlisted the use of runners to find remote villages with smallpox cases.

Donald Henderson, Former Director, Smallpox Campaign.  Mr. Henderson in 1967 launched a campaign to wipe out smallpox. Mr. Henderson even had doubts that the program would succeed; he recruited young idealists who became known as “Smallpox Warriors”. He described the smallpox warriors as the real heroes in the campaign to wipeout smallpox. He enlisted the help of schoolchildren to help find hidden cases of smallpox.

Dr. Charles Wachihi, Aids Vaccination Project. Aids research scientist at the University of Nairobi, University of Manitoba. Mr. Wachihi conducted studies on a group of 200 sex works with natural immunity to the HIV virus. Mr. Wachihi’s research was instrumental in creating the possible discovery of a viable vaccine for HIV.

David Haymen, WHO Geneva Headed and planned the polio eradication program in India. Due to religious beliefs in India, Mr. Haymen sent to polio vaccine to a Muslim laboratory in Indonesia to have the vaccines properties analyzed. This resulted in the acceptance of the vaccine by the general population.

In 1796, a man named Edward Jenner had heard stories of dairymaids being immune to smallpox after acquiring cowpox. Jenner hypothesized that cowpox could prevent smallpox. Mr. Jenner was introduced to a woman named Sarah Nelms he saw that she had cowpox lesions on her hands and arms that were newly formed. He took the cowpox pus from Ms. Nelms and introduced it into the body of an eight-year-old boy named James Phipps. The young boy developed a fever and other discomforts, but after nine days, the boy was better. Mr. Jenner then introduced the live smallpox virus into the boy's body and the boy did not acquire smallpox. This vaccine was a new hope to the ending of a scourge that had plagued the world since the 1500s. Morgan, Poland (2011)

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Louis Pasteur is one of the greatest individuals identified here. He is extolled for his many contribution to various research studies and findings and later in the quest to understand the origin of diseases. In 1864, Pasteur unmasks germs as a primary source of illness of human beings. Louis Pasteur through his tireless efforts and in-depth research and findings progresses with the development of chicken cholera vaccine. In 1885, Pasteur was presented a young boy named Joseph Meister; a rabid dog had attacked Meister and at that, time rabies was an incurable disease. Although, Pasteur had mixed feelings about using his experimental vaccine, he decided that the boys’ outcome would be the same either way. Two weeks later Joseph Meister was free of the rabies virus. This marked one of the greatest scientific triumphs ever in the world at that time.

Jonas Salk is credited with the first injectable polio vaccine. In 1955 the results of Mr. Salk's clinical trials were released in the vaccine was found to be 90% effective against Types II and Types III, and 60% effective against Type I polio virus. Blume, Geesink (2000)

Albert Sabin is credited with the first oral polio vaccine. While Sabin worked his way through medical school in the 1920s, he began researching polio and other viruses. The vaccines low cost and because it was easily administered, made this the vaccine the choice. Subsequently it replaced Jonas Salk's injectable vaccination, because it used live attenuated poliovirus and work very efficiently in the gut. Hampton, (2009) 

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