Iran has issued a postage stamp to honour its medical workers battling with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in that country.
The stamp has the inscription “National Heroes” in English on the lower left of the main image.
It is thought to be the first stamp with the virus as its subject but Vietnam has followed close on Iran’s heels with Vietnam Post issuing a stamp set entitled “Join hands in COVID-19 Prevention and Control”
Horrible as this virus may be we have to be aware of other longstanding illnesses such as malaria and measles, the latter of which is one of the world’s most contagious diseases, with the potential to be extremely severe. In 2017, the most recent year for which the World Health Organisation’s estimates are available, it caused close to 110,000 deaths. Even in high-income countries, complications result in hospitalization in up to a quarter of cases, and can lead to lifelong disability, from brain damage and blindness to hearing loss. The two stamps below feature Dr. John Enders and Thomas Weller, developers of a vaccine against measles in 1960.
The estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 405,000 in 2018 according to WHO figures.
Another horrible disease is tuberculosis. When thinking of the current Coronavirus crisis it should not be forgotten that a total of 1.5 million people died from TB in 2018 (including 251,000 people with HIV)*. Worldwide, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause from a single infectious agent – and it is considered to be curable. Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat. WHO estimates that there were 484,000 new cases with resistance to rifampicin – at present the most effective first-line drug, of which 78% had MDR-TB. *World Health Organization statistics
Greenland issued the stamp sheet “The Fight Against Tuberculosis in 2008”.
The stamp from the Dominican Republic in 1949 depicts the sanatorium in the country’s capital Santo Domingo which was built specifically for tuberculosis patients. Sanatoriums were built in many countries to isolate patients as there was no effective antibiotic treatment for the disease until the early 1950s.
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