The poliomyelitis went from inflicting greater than 2,000 instances yearly in 1960 to 62 instances in 1965 in Spain, because of the Nationwide marketing campaign for oral polio vaccination. Conceived by Dr. Florencio Pérez Gallardo, who carried out the epidemiological and virological investigations, We began the vaccination in León on Could 14, 1963, reaching, in itineraries with which we traveled all through the province, all kids from three months to seven years.
At the moment, polio created panic in the inhabitants of essentially the most superior nations and that led to an incredible effort in primary analysis (Nobel Prize in 1954 to Enders, Weller and Robbins) and utilized, with the event of Salk vaccines (inactivated , useless) and Sabin (attenuated, alive).
The Polio Vaccination Pilot Marketing campaign served to dramatically decrease the degrees of paralysis and deaths and paved the way in which for his or her elimination in Spain
The Sabin vaccine, extremely efficient and administered very merely, orally, shortly led to the elimination of the illness and its horrible penalties in many nations of the world.
In Spain, the work of Dr. Florencio Pérez Gallardo and his nucleus of younger collaborators supplied the required data to suggest, now 58 years in the past, a common protection vaccination marketing campaign for prone age teams: the Pilot Marketing campaign. This served to dramatically decrease the degrees of paralysis and deaths and paved the way in which for his or her elimination in Spain.
For years members of the identical household had been estranged by polio. / © Courtesy of Rafael Nájera
The sources at our disposal would appear ridiculous in the present day, however with them it was attainable to get rid of one of the horrible well being issues of the second. Sadly, the dearth of the required assist meant that what might have been accomplished in just a few years was delayed longer than fascinating.
When residing basically with many moms and their kids, I perceived a rapprochement between individuals from the identical household who had been estranged for years and for whom contact with their kids established a want for solidarity, which made them come nearer
From the start, when residing basically with many moms and their kids, I perceived a rapprochement between individuals from the identical household who had been estranged for years and for whom contact with their kids established a want for solidarity, which made them come nearer. It was a brand new and endearing feeling.
We arrived at locations that appeared unimaginable on the time, such because the area of La Cabrera, in León, which had been nominated to affix the Royal Board of Las Hurdes however, when rejected, was fully deserted.
Dr. Rafael Nájera in the course of the vaccination marketing campaign in Benuza, León. / © Courtesy of Rafael Nájera
The deaths had been ‘testimonial’: they had been registered when the thaw in spring made it attainable to bypass the mountain passes and method the cities with Civil Registry, as in the case of Truchas.
I lived experiences that we might take into account ‘medieval’, corresponding to perceiving that point was relying on parameter ‘grandfather-grandson’. An previous man in Las Médulas advised me in all seriousness that his grandparents had labored with the Romans and that they had been “very dangerous.”
In Cain I lived the drama of essentially the most horrible migration, crossing the mountain by unimaginable paths till I reached a brutally unknown world, however which lit a flame of hope.
The teachings discovered
The anti-polio campaigns launched in Spain, amongst different issues, the idea of complete protection for all kids, which gave method to the implementation of vaccination schedules that, adopted by the well being authorities and accepted by the inhabitants, have led to the management of many infectious ailments.
Vaccination in Picos de Europa. José Vega Villalonga. Provincial Chief of Well being of León and Rafael Nájera, on the way in which to Caín, strolling from the hermitage of Corona. / © Courtesy of Rafael Nájera
One other consequence of the success of the Vaccination Pilot Marketing campaign was the creation in Spain of the primary analysis institute for ailments attributable to viruses, the Nationwide Middle for Well being Virology and Ecology, primarily based in Majadahonda and the place, in addition to persevering with research on polio and different enteroviruses, research on respiratory and exanthematic viruses, corresponding to influenza, measles, rubella and mumps, had been carried out, which led to the implantation of the corresponding vaccines.
The polio vaccination marketing campaign gave method to the implementation of vaccination schedules, which has led to the management of many infectious ailments
Within the case of influenza, because the Nationwide Influenza Middle of the World Well being Group (WHO), it started the surveillance of this illness and of the brand new variants that had been naturally chosen by mutation or by genetic mixtures, inflicting pandemics.
Nationwide Polio Vaccination Marketing campaign Poster. / © Courtesy of Rafael Nájera
Briefly, the teachings of that point enable us to mirror on the perfect use of sources, typically scarce, and the worth of the human issue that should try to generate confidence in the inhabitants to attain essentially the most environment friendly response to any state of affairs.
Typically instances, restricted sources effectively used can present wonderful outcomes. Right this moment, many conditions in the face of COVID-19 make me mirror on the dedication and heroism of so many nameless fighters of important jobs, each well being and social assist, as vital as the primary.
I wish to dedicate this small however honest reminiscence to them.
Rafael Najera He vaccinated the primary woman in Spain with the Sabin vaccine and years later signed the World Well being Group certificates for the elimination of polio in Europe. He was the primary director of the Carlos III Well being Institute.
Right here is the interview that Rafael Nájera granted to SINC in October 2020.
Rafael Nájera in 2020. / Ricardo Santamaría-ISCIII
Rights: Inventive Commons.