Friday, March 14, 2014

Heroes of Medicine

This FDC has four stamps honouring personalities whose contribution to medical science has been immense. They were undoubtedly Heroes of Medicine. The details of these great personalities on the stamps issued by Transkei at Umtata on 17.8.1983 are as follows:-
(10c) Edward Jenner, FRS (17 May 1749 – 26 January 1823) was an English physician and scientist from Berkeley, Gloucestershire, who was the pioneer of smallpox vaccine, the world's first vaccine. He is often called "the father of immunology", and his work is said to have "saved more lives than the work of any other human".
(20c) Gregor Johann Mendel (July 20, 1822 – January 6, 1884) was a German-speaking Silesian scientist and Augustinian friar who gained posthumous fame as the founder of the new science of genetics. Mendel demonstrated that the inheritance of certain traits in pea plants follows particular patterns, now referred to as the laws of Mendelian inheritance. The profound significance of Mendel's work was not recognized until the turn of the 20th century, when the independent rediscovery of these laws initiated the modern science of genetics.
(25c) Louis Pasteur (December 27, 1822 – September 28, 1895) was a French chemist and microbiologist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases, and his discoveries have saved countless lives ever since. He reduced mortality from puerperal fever, and created the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax. His medical discoveries provided direct support for the germ theory of disease and its application in clinical medicine. He is best known to the general public for his invention of the technique of treating milk and wine to stop bacterial contamination, a process now called pasteurization. He is regarded as one of the three main founders of bacteriology, together with Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch, and is popularly known as the "father of microbiology".
Pasteur also made significant discoveries in chemistry, most notably on the molecular basis for the asymmetry of certain crystals and racemization. He was the Director of the Pasteur Institute, established in 1887, till his death, and his body lies beneath the institute in a vault covered in depictions of his accomplishments in Byzantine mosaics.
(40c) Florence Nightingale, OM, RRC (12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910) was a celebrated British social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing. She came to prominence while serving as a nurse during the Crimean War, where she tended to wounded soldiers. She was known as "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night.
Early 21st century commentators have asserted Nightingale's achievements in the Crimean War had been exaggerated by the media at the time, to satisfy the public's need for a hero, but her later achievements remain widely accepted. In 1860, Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas' Hospital in London. It was the first secular nursing school in the world, now part of King's College London. The Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses was named in her honour, and the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on her birthday. Her social reforms include improving healthcare for all sections of British society, improving healthcare and advocating for better hunger relief in India, helping to abolish laws regulating prostitution that were overly harsh to women, and expanding the acceptable forms of female participation in the workforce.
Nightingale was a prodigious and versatile writer. In her lifetime much of her published work was concerned with spreading medical knowledge. Some of her tracts were written in simple English so they could easily be understood by those with poor literary skills. She also helped popularise the graphical presentation of statistical data. Much of her writing, including her extensive work on religion and mysticism, has only been published posthumously.

Thank you Maria for this lovely FDC.

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