Louis Braille

Louis Braille, French teacher of the blind and inventor of braille Was Born 4 January 1809 in Coupvray, France, a small town located east of Paris. He had an unfortunate accident At the age of three when he was toying with some of the tools, trying to make holes in a piece of leather with an awl. Squinting closely at the surface, he pressed down hard to drive the point in, and the awl glanced across the tough leather and struck him in one of his eyes. A local physician bound and patched the affected eye and even arranged for Louis to be met the next day in Paris by a highly-respected surgeon, but no treatment could save the damaged organ. Braille suffered for weeks as the wound became severely infected and spread to his other eye and by the age of five he was completely blind in both eyes. He learned to navigate the village and country paths with canes his father hewed for him, and he grew up seemingly at peace with his disability.

His bright and creative mind impressed the local teachers and priests, and he was encouraged to seek higher education. Braille studied in Coupvray until the age of ten. Because of his combination of intelligence and diligence, Braille was permitted to attend one of the first schools for blind children in the world, the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris. The school was an underfunded, ramshackle affair, but it provided a stable environment for blind children to learn and associate together. The children were taught how to read by a system devised by the school’s founder, Valentin Haüy. Not blind himself, Haüy was a committed philanthropist who devoted his life to helping the blind. He designed and manufactured a small library of books for the children using a technique of embossing heavy paper with the raised imprints of Latin letters. Readers would trace their fingers over the text, comprehending slowly but in a traditional fashion which Haüy could appreciate.

Braille was helped by the Haüy books, but he also despaired over their lack of depth: the amount of information kept in such books was necessarily small. Because the raised letters were made using a complex process, the children could not hope to “write” by themselves. The handcrafted Haüy books all came in uncomfortable sizes and weights, were laboriously constructed, exquisitely delicate, and greatly expensive to obtain. Haüy promoted their use with zeal: the books presented a new and handsome system which could be readily comprehended by those with eyesight. Braille and his schoolmates, however, could detect the books’ limitations. Nonetheless, Haüy’s well-intentioned efforts still provided a breakthrough achievement – the recognition of the sense of touch as a workable strategy for sightless reading. Braille proved to be a highly proficient student and, after he had exhausted the school’s curriculum, he was immediately asked to remain as a teacher’s aide. By 1833, he was elevated to a full professorship. For much of the rest of his life, Braille stayed at the Institute where he taught history, geometry, and algebra. Braille’s ear for music also enabled him to become an accomplished cellist and organist, his musical talents led him to play the organ for churches all over France. He held the position of organist in Paris at the Church of Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs and the Church of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.

Braille was determined to fashion a system of reading and writing that could bridge the critical gap in communication between the sighted and the blind. In 1821, Braille learned of a communication system devised by Captain Charles Barbier of the French Army. Barbier willingly shared his invention called “night writing” which was a code of dots and dashes impressed into thick paper. which could be interpreted entirely by the fingers, letting soldiers share information on the battlefield without having light or needing to speak.The captain’s code turned out to be too complex to use in its original military form, but it inspired Braille to develop a system of his own and he worked tirelessly on his ideas, which were largely completed by 1824, when he was just fifteen years of age. From Barbier’s night writing, he innovated by simplifying its form and maximizing its efficiency. He made uniform columns for each letter, and he reduced the twelve raised dots to six. He published his system in 1829, and by the second edition in 1837 had discarded the dashes because they were too difficult to read. Crucially, Braille’s smaller cells were capable of being recognized as letters with a single touch of a finger. Braille created his own raised-dot system by using an awl, the same kind of implement which had blinded him. In the process of designing his system, he also designed an ergonomic interface for using it, based on Barbier’s own slate and stylus tools which would keep the lines straight and readable. he system was later extended to include braille musical notation.

Passionate about his own music, Braille also took meticulous care in its planning to ensure that the musical code would be “flexible enough to meet the unique requirements of any instrument. In 1829, he published the first book about his system, Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them. Ironically this book was first printed by using the Haüy system. In 1839, Braille published details of a method he had developed for communication with sighted people, using patterns of dots to approximate the shape of printed symbols. his friend Pierre Foucault was also working on the development of a device that could emboss letters in the manner of a typewriter.

Braille had always been a sickly child, and his condition worsened in adulthood. A persistent respiratory illness, long believed to be tuberculosis, dogged him, and by the age of forty, he was forced to relinquish his position as a teacher. When his condition reached mortal danger, he was taken back to his family home in Coupvray, where he passed away on 6th January 1852, two days after he had reached the age of forty-three. Through the overwhelming insistence of the blind pupils, Braille’s system was finally adopted by the Institute in 1854. The system spread throughout the French-speaking world, but was slower to expand in other places. In the Netherlands though, braille was already taught at the institute for the blind in Amsterdam at least as early as 1846. braille was officially adopted by schools for the blind in the United States in 1916, and a universal braille code for English was formalized in 1932. New variations in braille technology continue to grow, including such innovations as braille computer terminals; RoboBraille email delivery service; and Nemeth Braille, a comprehensive system for mathematical and scientific notation. Braille’s revolutionary form of communication that transcended blindness and transformed the lives of millions. After two centuries, the braille system remains an invaluable tool of learning and communication for the blind, and it has been adapted for languages worldwide.

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United Nations International day of Persons with Disabilities

International Day of Persons with Disabilities takes place annually on December to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. It was originally called “International Day of Disabled Persons” until 2007.

In 1976, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons. It called for a plan of action at the national, regional and international levels, with an emphasis on equalization of opportunities, rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities. The theme of IYDP was “full participation and equality”, defined as the right of persons with disabilities to take part fully in the life and development of their societies, enjoy living conditions equal to those of other citizens, and have an equal share in improved conditions resulting from socio-economic development

On the 2012 International Day of People with Disability, the United Kingdom government introduced mandatory work for disabled people who received welfare benefits in order to “Improve disabled peoples chances of getting work by mandatory employment”. The founder of the Susan Archibald Centre stated that the mandatory employment of people with disabilities is a breach of article 27/2 of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Guardian noted that from this United Nations appointed day onwards people with disabilities and illnesses ranging from cancer to paralysis to mental health may be forced by the U.K government to work for free or else they can risk being stripped of up to 70% of their welfare benefits. A program is also launched on 3 December in India to serve the differently-able community of the country as an initiative called Accessible India Campaign under the Article 9 of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Each year the day focuses on a different issue such as Arts, Culture and Independent Living”, Accessibility for all, Making information technologies work for all, Full participation and equality for all, Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods, Nothing About Us Without Us, Rights for persons with disabilities, E-Accessibility, Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us, Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium, Empowerment of persons with disabilities, Including persons with disabilities in development, Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all,

World AIDS day

World AIDS Day, takes place annually on December 1 and is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.

World AIDS Day was first conceived in August 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Bunn and Netter took their idea to Dr. Jonathan Mann, Director of the Global Programme on AIDS (now known as UNAIDS). Dr. Mann liked the concept, approved it, and agreed with the recommendation that the first observance of World AIDS Day should be on December 1, 1988. Bunn, a former television broadcast journalist from San Francisco, had recommended the date of December 1 that believing it would maximize coverage of World AIDS Day by western news media, sufficiently long following the US elections but before the Christmas holidays.

In its first two years, the theme of World AIDS Day focused on children and young people. While the choice of this theme was criticized at the time by some for ignoring the fact that people of all ages may become infected with HIV, the theme helped alleviate some of the stigma surrounding the disease and boost recognition of the problem as a family disease. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) became operational in 1996, and it took over the planning and promotion of World AIDS Day. Rather than focus on a single day, UNAIDS created the World AIDS Campaign in 1997 to focus on year-round communications, prevention and education. In 2004, the World AIDS Campaign became an independent organization. Each year, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have released a greeting message for patients and doctors on World AIDS Day. In the US, the White House began marking World AIDS Day with the iconic display of a 28-foot AIDS Ribbon on the building’s North Portico in 2007. The display, now an annual tradition, and was the first banner, sign or symbol to prominently hang from the White House since the Abraham Lincoln administration.

As of 2013, AIDS has killed more than 36 million people worldwide (1981-2012), and an estimated 35.3 million people are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history. Despite recent improved access to antiretroviral treatment in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claims an estimated 2 million lives each year, of which about 270,000 are children. World AIDS Day is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day and World Hepatitis Day. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day.


WOODY ALLEN

American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, author, playwright, and musician Woody Allen (born Allen Stewart Konigsberg Was born December 1, 1935. His career spans more than 50 years.He worked as a comedy writer in the 1950s, writing jokes and scripts for television and publishing several books of short humor pieces. In the early 1960s, Allen began performing as a stand-up comic, emphasizing monologues rather than traditional jokes. As a comic, he developed the persona of an insecure, intellectual, fretful nebbish, which he insists is quite different from his real-life personality. In 2004, Comedy Central ranked Allen in fourth place on a list of the 100 greatest stand-up comics, while a UK survey ranked Allen as the third greatest comedian.

By the mid-1960s Allen was writing and directing films, first specializing in slapstick comedies before moving into dramatic material influenced by European art cinema during the 1970s. He is often identified as part of the New Hollywood wave of filmmakers of the mid-1960s to late ’70s. Allen often stars in his own films, typically in the neurotic persona he developed as a standup. Some best-known of his over 40 films are Annie Hall (1977), Manhattan (1979), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), and Midnight in Paris(2011). Critic Roger Ebert described Allen as “a treasure of the cinema”.

Allen has been nominated 23 times and won four Academy Awards: three for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Director (Annie Hall (1978). He has more screenwriting Academy Award nominations than any other writer. He has won nine British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. Allen performs regularly as a jazz clarinetist at small venues in Manhattan. In 2011, PBS televised the film biography, Woody Allen: A Documentary, on the American Masters TV series, covering biographies of actors and writers who have had a profound impact on the nation’s popular culture.

Anti Obesity Day

Anti-Obesity Day (AOD) is observed in various parts of the world on November 26, with several healthcare organizations and leading Media primarily in India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries marking the day with activities to highlight how Obesity is a public health hazard.

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health. People are generally considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person’s weight by the square of the person’s height, is over 30 kg/m2, with the range 25–30 kg/m2 defined as overweight. Some East Asian countries use lower values. Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases and conditions, particularly cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, osteoarthritis and depression.

Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility. A few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications, or mental disorder. The view that obese people eat little yet gain weight due to a slow metabolism is not generally supported. On average, obese people have a greater energy expenditure than their normal counterparts due to the energy required to maintain an increased body mass.

Obesity is mostly preventable through a combination of social changes and personal choices. Changes to diet and exercising are the main treatments. Diet quality can be improved by reducing the consumption of energy-dense foods, such as those high in fat and sugars, and by increasing the intake of dietary fiber. Medications may be used, along with a suitable diet, to reduce appetite or decrease fat absorption.If diet, exercise, and medication are not effective, a gastric balloon or surgery may be performed to reduce stomach volume or length of the intestines, leading to feeling full earlier or a reduced ability to absorb nutrients from food.

Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with increasing rates in adults and children. In 2015, 600 million adults (12%) and 100 million children were obese.Obesity is more common in women than men.Authorities view it as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century. Obesity is stigmatized in much of the modern world (particularly in the Western world), though it was seen as a symbol of wealth and fertility at other times in history and still is in some parts of the world. In 2013, the American Medical Association classified obesity as a disease.

In 2001, the Indian Wellness brand VLCC, founded by Mrs. Vandana Luthra, took the first step towards creating awareness about Obesity and its ill-effects through the creation of an anti-obesity initiative to address the global pandemic. With the active involvement of the medical fraternity and other key stakeholders in all the countries where it has a presence, VLCC started observing November 26 as Anti-Obesity Day, as part of an annual campaign conducted during November and December to promote the development of good lifestyle habits to stay healthy and fit.

VLCC’s anti-obesity campaign includes organizing health camps, mass counseling sessions, and talk-shows with health experts, besides extensive media interactions, and dissemination of special literature on obesity. VLCC’s Anti-Obesity Day™ initiative has received wide coverage in the Media with articles on this appearing on this in several key mainstream and specialized media in India and the GCC countries, which include publications such as The Times of India, The Hindu, Muscat Daily etc. In 2012, VLCC tied up with the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), to launch the nutrition availability imbalance awareness building initiative – the “Global Balance Program” – the public communication campaign which has been recognized as one of the best Corporate Social Responsibility awareness building campaigns in the world by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Being Overweight or Obese poses the fifth leading risk for global deaths. A person whose Body Mass Index (BMI) – the individual’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters – is greater than or equal to 25 is Overweight. A person whose BMI is greater than or equal to 30 is considered Obese.

The WHO states that at least 2.8 million adults die every year on account of being overweight or obese. In addition, 44% of diabetes cases, 23% of ischaemic heart diseases and 7-41% of certain instances of cancer are attributable to overweight and obesity. The WHO points out that the incidence of obesity worldwide has nearly doubled since 1980 and that 65% of the world’s population now lives in countries where more deaths are attributable to overweight and obesity than being underweight. In 2008, more than 1.4 billion adults aged 20 and above were overweight. Of these, more than 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese. More than 40 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2011.

World Diabetes Day/Rossini

World Diabetes Day is the primary global awareness campaign focusing on diabetes mellitus and is held on November 14 each year. Led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), each World Diabetes Day focuses on a theme related to diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes is largely preventable and treatable non-communicable disease that is rapidly increasing in numbers worldwide. Type 1 Diabetes is not preventable but can be managed with insulin shots. Topics covered have included diabetes and human rights, diabetes and lifestyle, diabetes and obesity, diabetes in the disadvantaged and the vulnerable, and diabetes in children and adolescents. While the campaigns last the whole year, the day itself marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best and John James Rickard Macleod, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.

Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. If left untreated, diabetes can cause many complications. Acute complications can include diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, or death. Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, foot ulcers, and damage to the eye. Diabetes is due to either the pancreas not producing enough insulin or the cells of the body not responding properly to the insulin produced.There are three main types of diabetes mellitus:

Type 1 DM results from the pancreas’s failure to produce enough insulin. This form was previously referred to as “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (IDDM) or “juvenile diabetes”. The cause is unknown. Type 2 DM begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly. As the disease progresses a lack of insulin may also develop. This form was previously referred to as “non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (NIDDM) or “adult-onset diabetes. The most common cause is excessive body weight and not enough exercise.Gestational diabetes is the third main form and occurs when pregnant women without a previous history of diabetes develop high blood sugar levels. Prevention and treatment involve maintaining a healthy diet, regular physical exercise, a normal body weight, and avoiding use of tobacco. Control of blood pressure and maintaining proper foot care are important for people with the disease. Type 1 DM must be managed with insulin injections. Type 2 DM may be treated with medications with or without insulin. Insulin and some oral medications can cause low blood sugar. Weight loss surgery in those with obesity is sometimes an effective measure in those with type 2 DM.Gestational diabetes usually resolves after the birth of the baby.

As of 2015, an estimated 415 million people had diabetes worldwide,with type 2 DM making up about 90% of the cases which represents 8.3% of the adult population,with equal rates in both women and men As of 2014, trends suggested the rate would continue to rise.Diabetes at least doubles a person’s risk of early death. From 2012 to 2015, approximately 1.5 to 5.0 million deaths each year resulted from diabetes.The global economic cost of diabetes in 2014 was estimated to be US$612 billion. In the United States, diabetes cost $245 billion in 2012.

World Diabetes Day was launched in 1991 by the IDF and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the rapid rise of diabetes around the world. By 2016, World Diabetes Day was being celebrated by over 230 IDF member associations in more than 160 countries and territories, as well as by other organizations, companies, healthcare professionals, politicians, celebrities, and people living with diabetes and their families. Activities include diabetes screening programmes, radio and television campaigns, sports events.


Gioachino Rossini

Italian Composer Gioachino Antonio Rossini sadly passed away on 13th November at the age of 76 from pneumonia at his country house at Passy on Friday, 13 November 1868. He was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France. In 1887, his remains were moved to the Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze, in Florence, at the request of the Italian government.  He was Born 29 February 1792 into a family of musicians in Pesaro, a town on the Adriatic coast of Italy, he began his musical training early, and by the age of six he was playing the triangle in his father’s musical group, His father also played the horn in the orchestras of the theatres at which his wife sang and Rossini had three years of instruction in the playing of the harpsichord from Giuseppe Prinetti. He was eventually taken from Prinetti and apprenticed to a blacksmith. In Angelo Tesei, he found a congenial music master, and learned to sight-read, play accompaniments on the piano and sing well enough to take solo parts in the church when he was ten years of age. He was also a capable horn player and Around this time, he composed individual numbers to a libretto by Vincenza Mombelli called Demetrio e Polibio, which was handed to the boy in pieces.Though it was Rossini’s first opera, written when he was thirteen or fourteen, the work was not staged until the composer was twenty years old, premiering as his sixth official opera.

In 1806 Rossini became a cello student and learned to play the cello with ease. his first opera, La cambiale di matrimonio (The Marriage Contract), was produced at Venice when he was 18 years old But two years before this he had already received the prize at the Conservatorio of Bologna for his cantata Il pianto d’Armonia sulla morte d’Orfeo. Between 1810 and 1813 at Bologna, Rome, Venice and Milan, Rossini produced operas of varying success, most notably La pietra del paragone and Il signor Bruschino, with its brilliant and unique overture. In 1813, Tancredi and L’italiana in Algeri were even bigger successes, and catapulted the 20-year-old composer to international fame.Rossini’s most famous opera, ,The Barber of Seville, was produced on 20 February 1816, scholars generally agree that it was written in two or three weeks, although Rossini himself claimed to have written the opera in only twelve days.Perhaps one of the most well known parts of The Barber of Seville is Figaro’s Aria.

Between 1815 and 1823 Rossini produced 20 operas. Of these Othello formed the climax to his reform of serious opera, and offers a suggestive contrast with the treatment of the same subject at a similar point of artistic development by the composer Giuseppe Verdi. In 1823, he came to England, being much fêted on his way through Paris. and was given a generous welcome in England, The next year he became musical director of the Théâtre des Italiens in Paris, between 1824 and 1829, Rossini created the comic opera Le Comte Ory and Guillaume Tell (William Tell). which is a political epic adapted from Schiller’s play about the 13th-century Swiss patriot who rallied his country against the Austrians.By the age of thirty-eight he had composed thirty-eight operas as well as sacred music, chamber music, songs, and some instrumental and piano pieces. He also became famous for the inspired, song-like melodies which are evident throughout his scores, which mark a transitional stage in the history of opera, the overture serving as a model for romantic overtures throughout the 19th century.Rossini sadly passed away on 13th November at the age of 76 from pneumonia at his country house at Passy on Friday, 13 November 1868. But during his lifetime he recieve many Honors & tributes, He was a foreign associate of the institute, grand officer of the Legion of Honour and recipient of innumerable orders. In 1900 Giuseppe Cassioli created a monument to Rossini in the Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence. Rossini remains one of the most popular opera composers in history and The William Tell overture also remains one of the most famous and frequently recorded works in the classical repertoire In 1989 the conductor Helmuth Rilling also recorded a Requiem for Rossini.

World Pneumonia Day

World Pneumonia Day takes place annually on November 12 and provides an annual forum for the world to stand together and demand action in the fight against pneumonia. More than 100 organizations representing the interests of children joined forces as the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia to hold the first World Pneumonia Day on November 2, 2009. Save The Children artist ambassadors Gwyneth Paltrow and Hugh Laurie, Charles MacCormack of Save The Children, Orin Levine of PneumoADIP, Lance Laifer of Hedge Funds vs. Malaria & Pneumonia, the Global Health Council, the GAVI Alliance, and the Sabin Vaccine Institute joined together in a call to action asking people to participate in World Pneumonia Day on November 2. In 2010, World Pneumonia Day falls on November 12.

Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung affecting primarily the small air sacs known as alveoli. Typically symptoms include some combination of productive or dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing.Severity is variable Pneumonia is usually caused by infection with viruses or bacteria and less commonly by other microorganisms, certain medications and conditions such as autoimmune diseases. Risk factors include other lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis, COPD, and asthma, diabetes, heart failure, a history of smoking, a poor ability to cough such as following a stroke, or a weak immune system.Diagnosis is often based on the symptoms and physical examination. Chest X-ray, blood tests, and culture of the sputum may help confirm the diagnosis.The disease may be classified by where it was acquired with community, hospital, or health care associated pneumonia.

Vaccines to prevent certain types of pneumonia are available. Other methods of prevention include handwashing and not smoking.Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Pneumonia believed to be due to bacteria is treated with antibiotics. If the pneumonia is severe, the affected person is generally hospitalized.Oxygen therapy may be used if oxygen levels are low.

Pneumonia affects approximately 450 million people globally (7% of the population) and results in about 4 million deaths per year.Pneumonia was regarded by William Osler in the 19th century as “the captain of the men of death”With the introduction of antibiotics and vaccines in the 20th century, survival improved. Nevertheless, in developing countries, and among the very old, the very young, and the chronically ill, pneumonia remains a leading cause of death. Pneumonia often shortens suffering among those already close to death and has thus been called “the old man’s friend”.

Pneumonia is a preventable and treatable disease that sickens 155 million children under 5 and kills 1.6 million each year. This makes pneumonia the number 1 killer of children under 5, claiming more young lives than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined. Yet most people are unaware of pneumonia’s overwhelming death toll. Because of this pneumonia has been overshadowed as a priority on the global health agenda, and rarely receives coverage in the news media. World Pneumonia Day helps to bring this health crisis to the public’s attention and encourages policy makers and grassroots organizers alike to combat the disease.

In spite of the massive death toll of this disease, affordable treatment and prevention options exist. There are effective vaccines against the two most common bacterial causes of deadly pneumonia, Haemophilus influenzae type B and Streptococcus pneumoniae, and most common viral cause of pneumonia, Orthomyxoviridae. A course of antibiotics which costs less than $1(US) is capable of curing the disease if it is started early enough. The Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP) released by the WHO and UNICEF on World Pneumonia Day, 2009, finds that 1 million children’s lives could be saved every year if prevention and treatment interventions for pneumonia were widely introduced in the world’s poorest countries.

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. The fourth of these goals is to reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate. Because pneumonia causes such a large number of under five deaths (almost 20%), in order to achieve MDG 4, the world must do something to reduce pneumonia deaths.

International Day of Radiology

International Day of Radiology (IDoR) is celebrated annually on November 8th to promote the role of medical imaging in modern healthcare and mark the anniversary of the discovery of x-rays on November 8th 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, who effectively layed the foundation for the new medical discipline of radiology.

It was first introduced in 2012, as a joint initiative, by the European Society of Radiology (ESR), the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), and the American College of Radiology (ACR). The International Day of Radiology is a successor to the European Day of Radiology which was launched in 2011. The first and only European Day of Radiology was held on February 10, 2011 to commemorate the anniversary of Röntgen’s death. The European day was organised by the ESR, who later entered into cooperation with the RSNA and the ACR to establish the International Day of Radiology.

The International Day of Radiology marks the anniversary of Röntgen’s discovery of x-rays and the main theme was medical imaging in oncology. The day was celebrated with events in many countries, mostly organised by national professional societies which represent radiologists. Many public lectures on the role of imaging in oncology took place across Europe. In the UK, the Royal College of Radiologists organised a free public lecture at the Wellcome Collection by Dr. Phil O’Connor, who served as head of musculoskeletal imaging at the London 2012 Olympics. The ESR also published two booklets to mark the occasion, ‘The Story of Radiology’, which was created in cooperation with the International Society for the History of Radiology, and ‘Making Cancer Visible: the role of cancer in oncology’

World Radiography Day also takes place to mark the anniversary of the discovery of X-rays in 1895. The purpose of this day is to raise public awareness of radiographic imaging and therapy, which play a crucial role in the diagnosis and the treatment of patients and, most importantly, ensuring radiation is kept to the minimum required, hence improving the quality of patient care. The day is celebrated worldwide by various national radiographers’ associations and societies, including Nigeria’s Association of Radiographers of Nigeria, United Kingdom’s Society of Radiographers (SoR), among others. [1]The International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists have celebrated 8 November as World Radiography Day since 2007.


German mechanical engineer and physicist Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen was born 27 March 1845. He attended high school in Utrecht, Netherlands. However In 1865, he was expelled from high school and Without a high school diploma, Röntgen could only attend university in the Netherlands as a visitor. In 1865, he tried to attend Utrecht University without having the necessary credentials required for a regular student. Upon hearing that he could enter the Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich (today known as the ETH Zurich), he passed its examinations, and began studies there as a student of mechanical engineering. In 1869, he graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich; once there, he became a favorite student of Professor August Kundt, whom he followed to the University of Strassburg.

In 1874, Röntgen became a lecturer at the University of Strassburg. In 1875, he became a professor at the Academy of Agriculture at Hohenheim, Württemberg. He returned to Strassburg as a professor of physics in 1876, and in 1879, he was appointed to the chair of physics at the University of Giessen. In 1888, he obtained the physics chair at the University of Würzburg, and in 1900 at the University of Munich, by special request of the Bavarian government. Although Röntgen accepted an appointment at Columbia University in New York City the outbreak of World War I changed his plans and he remained in Munich for the rest of his career.

During 1895, Röntgen was investigating the external effects from the various types of vacuum tube equipment — apparatuses from Heinrich Hertz, Johann Hittorf, William Crookes, Nikola Tesla and Philipp von Lenard — when an electrical discharge is passed through them.[5][6] In early November, he was repeating an experiment with one of Lenard’s tubes in which a thin aluminium window had been added to permit the cathode rays to exit the tube but a cardboard covering was added to protect the aluminium from damage by the strong electrostatic field that produces the cathode rays. He knew the cardboard covering prevented light from escaping, yet Röntgen observed that the invisible cathode rays caused a fluorescent effect on a small cardboard screen painted with barium platinocyanide when it was placed close to the aluminium window. It occurred to Röntgen that the Crookes–Hittorf tube, which had a much thicker glass wall than the Lenard tube, might also cause this fluorescent effect.

On 8 November 1895, Röntgen decided to test his idea. He carefully constructed a black cardboard covering similar to the one he had used on the Lenard tube. He covered the Crookes–Hittorf tube with the cardboard and attached electrodes to a Ruhmkorff coil to generate an electrostatic charge. Before setting up the barium platinocyanide screen to test his idea, Röntgen darkened the room to test the opacity of his cardboard cover. As he passed the Ruhmkorff coil charge through the tube, he determined that the cover was light-tight and turned to prepare the next step of the experiment. It was at this point that Röntgen noticed a faint shimmering from a bench a few feet away from the tube. To be sure, he tried several more discharges and saw the same shimmering each time. Striking a match, he discovered the shimmering had come from the location of the barium platinocyanide screen he had been intending to use next.

Röntgen speculated that a new kind of ray might be responsible. 8 November was a Friday, so he took advantage of the weekend to repeat his experiments and made his first notes. In the following weeks he ate and slept in his laboratory as he investigated many properties of the new rays he temporarily termed “X-rays”, using the mathematical designation (“X”) for something unknown. The new rays came to bear his name in many languages as “Röntgen rays” (and the associated X-ray radiograms as “Röntgenograms”). At one point while he was investigating the ability of various materials to stop the rays, Röntgen brought a small piece of lead into position while a discharge was occurring. Röntgen thus saw the first radiographic image, his own flickering ghostly skeleton on the barium platinocyanide screen. He later reported that it was at this point that he determined to continue his experiments in secrecy, because he feared for his professional reputation if his observations were in error.

Nearly two weeks after his discovery, he took the very first picture using X-rays of his wife Anna Bertha’s hand. When she saw her skeleton she exclaimed “I have seen my death!” Röntgen’s original paper, “On A New Kind Of Rays” (Ueber eine neue Art von Strahlen), was published on 28 December 1895. On 5 January 1896, an Austrian newspaper reported Röntgen’s discovery of a new type of radiation. Röntgen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Würzburg after his discovery. He published a total of three papers on X-rays between 1895 and 1897. Today, Röntgen is considered the father of diagnostic radiology, the medical speciality which uses imaging to diagnose disease. A collection of his papers is held at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland.