Did you know?
- Education affects health the more educated a mother is, the less likely her children are to die before their fifth birthday.
- Educated women are also less likely to die in childbirth. (UNICEF, State of the World’s Children, 1999)
- Yet two out of three of the world’s illiterate people are women.
- Women and children are most likely to be affected by hunger. Seven out of ten of the world’s hungry are women and girls.
- Three out of every four victims of natural and man–made disasters are women and young children.
- Pregnant and nursing mothers who don’t have enough to eat have smaller, unhealthy babies.
- Unhealthy adults have trouble feeding their families. As a result, their children don’t get enough to eat, and the hunger trap ensnares another generation of hungry poor.
- Tobacco claims around ten lakh lives in India annually. Nicotine’s immediate effect on the body includes damage to the central nervous system, increased rate of heart beats, increased blood pressure and in the long run, lung cancer and coronary heart disease.
- Intake of pan masala causes oral sub mucous fibrosis which is a high risk pre–cancerous condition. Aggressive advertising and introduction of aluminum foil packets have given a fillip to the sale of pan masala. Today, there are one hundred and fifty pan masala plants in the country.
- Smoking or chewing tobacco leaves results in a chemical dependency on nicotine that is similar to addiction to heroin or cocaine.
- Every year twenty lakh youngsters join the ever–growing community of tobacco users in India.
- According to WHO estimates, thirty lakh people die the world over every year from this man–made disaster. In other words, tobacco is responsible for one death every ten seconds. In India, it is responsible for one in every five deaths. Whereas in developed countries there is a downward trend.
- Twenty percent of the total tobacco–related deaths are from developing countries. Forty–one percent men and twenty one percent women in industrialized countries and fifty percent men and eight percent women in developing countries consume tobacco in its several forms.
1545 – Ambroise Pare, known as the father of modern surgery, advocates a new method of treating wounds with an ointment rather than boiling oil. He also uses ligatures for the first time to stop bleeding in wounds.
1614 – The first serious study of metabolism in the body is published by Italian physician Santorio .
1684 – The first accurate description of blood cells is given by Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. Earlier he became the first man to observe bacteria. 1747–Scotish physician James Lind gives the first demonstration of a cure for scurvy using fruit.
1796 – Edward Jenner becomes the first British physician to perform a successful vaccination, inoculating on a eight year old boy against smallpox thus laying the foundation for modern immunology.
1816 – French physician Rena Laennec invents the stethoscope.
1842 – The first major surgical operation using ether as an anaesthetic was carried out by Dr Crawford Long of Jefferson, Georgia.
1867 – Joseph Lister revolutionises modern surgery when he performs the first surgical operation under antiseptic conditions on his sister Isabella, at Glasgow’s Royal Infirmary.
1895 – Wilhelm Roentgen, at the university of Wuerzburg, Germany, discovers electro magnetic rays which he called x–rays
1898 – Radium, used in the treatment of cancer, is first discovered by Pierre and Marie Curie.
1901–The first four major blood groups A.O, B and AB are discovered by Australian–born–US–pathologist Karl Landsteiner. M and N groups were discovered in 1927.
1921 – Canadians Sir Federick Banting and Charles Best isolate insulin for the first time. It proved an effective treatment for diabetes.
1928 – Scotish bacteriologist, Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin found to have been an excellent antibiotic. He shared the Nobel prize in 1945 with Howard Florey and Ernest Chain who helped Fleming perfect and develop a method of producing the drug.
1932 – Gerhard Domagk, Polish bacteriologist, finds a new antibacterial treatment effective against streptococci using a substance called prontosil red.
1952 – The first pacemaker to control the body’s heartbeat, developed by Dr Paul Zoll of Harvard University, is fitted externally to David Schwartz. The first internal heart pacemaker is implanted into Arne Larsson in Stockholm by Ake Senning in 1958.
1953 – DNA (deoxyribonuclec acid), the genetic code, is first discovered by geneticists James Watson and Francis Crick of Cambridge University.
1954 – The first mass immunisation against pollomyelltis takes place in the United States with a vaccine developed by US virologist Jonas Edward Salk.
1960 – The first commercial contraceptive pill, Enovid 10, becomes available.
1967 – Dr. Christian Barnard carries out the world’s first heart transplant in South Africa. Louis Washkansky, the patient, dies 18 days after surgery.
1973 – Dr. Hans Kosterlitz discovers two naturally occurring opiates in the brain, the enkephalins. This biochemical triumph was achieved with John Hughes, his student.
1978 – In England Lesley Brown gives birth to Louise, the world’s first test tube baby after laboratory fertilisation.
1991 – A London surgeon makes the first artificial lung implant into a man with severe breathing problems.
1993 – Researchers discover the genetic material responsible for programmed cell death, a process by which individual cells commit suicide to help the body reshape developing tissues. The findings are said to have implications for several diseases, including Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, strokes, traumatic brain injury and certain types of cancer.
1995 – The World Health Organisation reports that at the end of 1994, the number of AIDS cases worldwide officially tops the million mark for the first time.
1996 – Scientists in Scotland report they have cloned an adult sheep, taking medical technology a step closer towards mass–producing herds of animals that can be farmed for human milk blood and organs. Dolly the sheep is the first animal to be grown from the cell of an adult animal.
1998 – Dolly the sheep becomes a mother giving birth to her first lamb, a female called Bonnie.