Monday, December 27, 2010

Credit Where Credit is Due Part 1 0f 2 (the real Dr. McCoy)

When it comes to applied science fiction, there can be little doubt that the USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23) is perhaps the latest if not most impressive embodiment of scifi gadgets to reality.
In Star Trek Dr. Leonard McCoy, aptly portrayed by DeForest Kelley, often undertook futuristic diagnoses and therapies with medicines and equipment real medical practitioners still wish they had.
Consider efforts to eliminate the parasitic Guinea worm in southern Sudan, for instance. The fight against guinea worm has been fought by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter for over twenty years. His Carter Center has almost won.
In the 1950s, 3-foot-long guinea worms ravaged almost 50 million people, forcing victims through months of pain until the worm exited through swollen blisters on their legs. The parasite made tending cows or harvesting crops impossible for the afflicted. By 1986, the number dropped to 3.5 million. Last year only 3,190 cases were reported.
Southern Sudan Guinea Worm Eradication Program (SSGWEP) Director Makoy Samuel Yibi, working in partnership with the Carter Center, reports 85% of the world's 3,190 remaining cases are in Southern Sudan, as of 2009.

Like the TV character, Makoy wants to work himself out of his job. In the photo (at left) Makoy assists in the painful removal of a Guinea worm exiting a child's leg and educates villagers on ways to prevent Guinea worm disease. The one thing the high-tech submarine (SSN-23) and Makoy's work have in common is ex-President Jimmy Carter.
Submarines are always silent and strange.



Post a Comment

<< Home