In Memoriam: Heloisa Sabin

WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 17, 2016 – The Sabin Vaccine Institute joins a global community of friends, partners and global health advocates in celebrating the life of Heloisa Sabin (née Dunshee de Abranches) who passed away October 12 at the age of 98. Wife of the late Dr. Albert B. Sabin, who developed the oral live virus polio vaccine, Heloisa Sabin shared her late husband’s dedication to the elimination of needless human suffering and poverty.
My name is Sarah Limbanazo Mwanamanga. I am 54 years old and a research nurse in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Africa. I have experience working on numerous studies, and now I’m working on a typhoid study In Blantyre, Malawi. I would like to share my own story of typhoid. This story happened about 22 years ago when I was working as a nurse-midwife at Malamulo Hospital. I was 32 years old, married with four children and living with my family including my brother and husband, both of whom I lost due to typhoid.
Do you remember learning how to wash your hands as a child? An adult would have taught you how to run your hands under running water and lather with soap to remove germs. Did you realize then that this lesson might have saved your life?

Did you know that every minute, a child goes blind? Or that 80 percent of global blindness is preventable? This October 13 is World Sight Day, a day established to shed light on the impact of blindness and to raise awareness around the steps we can take to prevent it.

Across the globe, there are 200 million people at risk of trachoma, a preventable, blinding infectious disease. More than three million people are in need of immediate surgery to avoid blindness due to trichiasis, a manifestation of trachoma that causes eyelashes to turn inward, scraping the cornea with each blink. We blink 19,000 times a day

The current generation of vaccines against rotavirus, the leading cause of diarrheal disease in children under five years old, was introduced just a decade ago. In the intervening years, 81 countries have implemented rotavirus vaccination to prevent diarrheal disease.

This past summer, I had the incredible privilege of interning with the Resource Development team at the Sabin Vaccine Institute. As someone who is passionate about global health equity, I was excited to learn more about what it means to work at non-profit within the global health field. Looking back on my experience, I am so thankful that I had the opportunity at work at Sabin and support its mission to alleviate needless human suffering from vaccine preventable and neglected tropical diseases.

Since the administration of the first vaccine, immunization policy has evolved to better meet public health needs around the world. This evolution is most apparent when considering immunization policy in developing countries over the past 50 years.

We are pleased to announce the Sabin Vaccine Institute will be participating in this year’s World Health Summit.