The March of Dimes is founded
On this date in 1938, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the March of Dimes to fight polio. A polio victim himself since he was 39, Roosevelt was keenly interested in finding a cure for this debilitating and often deadly virus. Once the Salk vaccine, and later the Sabin oral version, were developed, polio has been largely eliminated in places where the vaccine is routinely administered. Given that polio has largely been eradicated, the March of Dimes now concentrates on four problems that imperil the health of U.S. babies. They are birth defects, infant mortality, low birthweight and the absence of proper prenatal care. Birth defects afflict more than 150,000 U.S. babies annually, and are the leading cause of infant death.
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