On Napoleon leaned in respect of a man who saved mankind from a deadly disease

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Source: Arabic.Net – Taha Abdel Nasser Ramadan

Thanks to his experience in the late eighteenth century, the English physician Edward helped rid humanity of smallpox, which has afflicted humankind and annually causes about 400,000 deaths annually in Europe. On May 14, 1796, Edward Jenner performed his famous experiment on the baby James Phipps and injected him with samples of milking cow skin that had earlier been infected with cowpox, noting the emergence of immunity against smallpox in the child.

A painting embodying the personality of doctor Edward Jenner
A painting embodying the personality of doctor Edward Jenner

Thanks to this experience, Edward Jenner transformed the icon of vaccination and disease resistance in the world. The war he started against disease contributed to the declaration of the World Health Organization after nearly two centuries of the victory of mankind over smallpox. Two people known to get smallpox.

Panel portraying the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
Panel portraying the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte

Moreover, the news of the positive results of Edward Jenner’s experience quickly spread throughout the European continent. In France, doctor and politician Joseph Ignace Guillotin spearheaded efforts to encourage a national vaccination campaign to eradicate smallpox. During the month of May 1800, the latter chaired the vaccination committee and obtained the support of Pope Pius VII in 1804 and the famous pharmacist Antoine Parmentier in 1805 to start the vaccination campaign against the disease.

Photo of French doctor Joseph Ignace Gyutan
Photo of French doctor Joseph Ignace Gyutan

During the month of October 1803, Doctor Gyutan met with Consul Napoleon Bonaparte and spoke to him about the necessity of adopting the vaccination against smallpox in the country. Meanwhile, the pharmacist Bermantie conducted the first experiments on the method of vaccination and achieved success that encouraged him to support the vaccination of the French army and people.

A picture of the Bengali girl Rahima Banu in 1975
A picture of the Bengali girl Rahima Banu in 1975

Beginning in the year 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte did not hesitate, with the help of doctors, Gyutan, Pinel, and the pharmacist Bermantie, to begin the vaccination of the French army against smallpox. Also, during May 1811 Napoleon agreed to vaccinate his son against smallpox and generalized the vaccination process to include the rest of the French people. According to a number of sources, most children in half of France’s provinces received vaccination against smallpox during the last five years of Napoleon’s rule, thanks to which the number of deaths due to this disease decreased remarkably compared to 1789 (the year of the outbreak of the French Revolution).

A portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte riding his horse
A portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte riding his horse

Between 1803 and 1815, France and England were in a period of constant hostility and wars. However, this did not prevent Napoleon Bonaparte from sending a medal to the English doctor Edward Jenner as a thank-you for his great role in ending the suffering of many because of smallpox. Also, the French Emperor maintained a great deal of respect for Jenner throughout his reign. In 1805, Jenner wrote to the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte personally and asked him to release two English captives. He was later asked to release a spy known as Sir George Sinclair.

Receiving the message of Doctor Jenner, Napoleon Bonaparte agreed without hesitation to release these captives, saying, “We cannot refuse a request from one of the greatest who served humanity.”







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