Last week, April 7th was #WorldHealthDay and to celebrate we are sharing health advances that made a world of difference:
1. Discovery of insulin (1921): Dr. Frederick Banting and his assistant Dr. Charles Best saved millions of lives by discovering and isolating insulin, the molecule capable of regulating blood sugar. They wanted insulin to be available to anyone needing it, so they sold the patent to the University of Toronto for the modest sum of $1 (1,2,3,4).
2. Artificial cardiac pacemaker (1950): Dr. John Hopps invented the first portable artificial external pacemaker capable of sending electrical stimuli to the heart. His work paved the way for the current pacemaker (2,5,6).
3. Rethinking cancer treatments (1950): Before Dr. Vera Peters’ work with radiation, the only diagnosis for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer of the immune system, was terminal. She extended her work further to breast cancer treatment. Through her work she changed the lives of thousands of people (2,7,8,9).
4. The Palm n’ Turn medicine container (1967): Tired of seeing children being poisoned due to medicine found in homes, Dr. Henri J. Breault invented the first child-resistant cap now used, and saving lives, all around the world (2,10,11).
5. The Ebola vaccine (2014): It is researchers at the federal Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) that developed the first vaccine that could prevent Ebola (12,13,14).