In an op-ed published today in the GlobalPost, Sabin executive vice president Ciro de Quadros, M.D., M.P.H., looks back on his work treating communities in Brazil which were once devastated by smallpox and polio. Today, thanks in large part to vaccines, smallpox is eradicated and polio transmission has been drastically reduced. As World Pneumonia Day approaches, Dr. de Quadros uses these successes to encourage future progress in the fight to end pneumonia, which kills more children than any other disease and which can be easily prevented with a vaccine.

Past lessons, future progressA guest post by Dr. de Quadros of the Sabin Vaccine Institute on treating pneumonia today

When I think of my early days as the chief medical officer at a small clinic in the Brazilian Amazon, I marvel at how much has been achieved. In the early 1960s, smallpox devastated the lives of families throughout my country, and indeed the world. Similarly, polio inspired widespread panic and fear of life-altering paralysis, especially in the summer when outbreaks were common.

Vaccines to prevent both diseases were in use, but not widespread – and comprehensive plans to contain each disease were lacking. As scientists, we knew that case management – or treatment planning to ensure that appropriate medical care is provided to those who fell ill – would be essential not only to improving the health of the sick, but also to protecting those who are at risk.

Continue reading at the GlobalPost.