Carlos J. Finlay, a well-deserved commemoration

Carlos J. Finlay, a well-deserved commemoration

Health & Medicine

By Mercy Ramos

One-hundred five years after his death, the legacy of Carlos J. Finlay, Cuban scientist who discovered the form of transmission of Yellow fever, continues as updated as ever, taking into account the current situation facing the world due to the epidemic of Covid-19, which has cost the lives of more than 750 thousand people on the planet. 

Born in Camagüey, on December 3, 1833, he dedicated his life to the research and study of different diseases, such as the spread of cholera in Havana in 1868, in addition to yellow fever, whose transmission through the female Aedes aegypti mosquito discovered by him, made a great contribution to humanity in the prevention of this disease.

For his research and scientific contributions, he was proposed several times for the Nobel Prize of Medicine. He was also a recipient of the Mary Kingsley Medal, of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, an institution directed by Ronald Ross in Liverpool, England, to the Order of the Legion of Honor of France (1908) and named Honorary President of the National Board of Health and Welfare (1908). In his memory, December 3 was instituted as the Day of Latin American Medicine in several countries of the subcontinent.

Precisely for all these contributions, the scientific center in charge of developing a new vaccine to combat Covid-19, bears the name of Finlay in honor to the well-known Cuban doctor, one of the champions in the research to achieve a vaccine that fights the new coronavirus.

It is expected that Cuba will have its vaccine against Covid-19, called Sovereign 01, next January, the results of which should be available on February 11 and will be made public on February 15. The announcement released by the Cuban Public Registry of Clinical Trials just 72 hours ago, is an extremely hopeful event for the country and the world, as specialists from the largest of the Antilles have been in the news countless times for their work in different countries of the world that have been afflicted by epidemics, such as the case of cholera in Haiti, ebola in Africa and now Covid-19. 

In addition, the specialists of the Finlay Institute, in its almost three decades since its foundation, have developed and produced numerous vaccines, including VA-MENGOC-BC, anti-meningococcal BC., against leptospirosis, anti-tetanus and anti-diphtheria-tetanus. 

Due to the altruistic and selfless work of members of the Henry Reeve brigade, institutions and organizations from many countries support the nomination of Cuban physicians to the Nobel Peace Prize, a recognition that in fact will also honor all health professionals in the Island through all time.