One of the greatest men ever to have lived in the world was Dr Alexander Flemming. He was a
dedicated English doctor who was very keen to do his best to cure his patients. However, there were no
bacteria-fighting drugs at that time and many of his patients died of blood-poisoning. Therefore, Dr
Flemming tried to discover a bacteria-fighting drug through experiments in his laboratory.
He cultivated harmful germs on dishes of jelly. Surprisingly, he discovered that the harmful germs
were killed by the mould in the jelly. The organisms in the mould produced chemical substances which
killed the harmful germs. This was a fantastic discovery in 1928 - a mould that could kill harmful germs!
As a result, Dr Flemming wanted to find the chemical substance made by the mould.
Finally, he found the substance which was three times more effective than carbolic acid, the disinfectant for killing germs then. The new drug became known as penicillin, after the name of the mould. Dr Flemming's next challenge was to produce a large amount of this antibody for use on his patients.
He continued with his experiments. With the outbreak of the Second World War, his drug was very
much in demand. Subsequently, his wonder drug was produced in great amounts. The persons responsible were Professor Sir Howard Florey who introduced its use for healing patients, and Dr E. Chain who
studied it in detail.
With the discovery of penicillin by Dr Flemming, fewer people died from bacteria infection. His drug
had alleviated the sufferings of mankind and indeed saved the lives of millions. Hailed as one of the
world's greatest contributors to medical science, he had made it possible not only to treat diseases but
to prevent them too. His drug can be applied to animals as well. Therefore, if you had been treated for
diseases such as pneumonia, influenza and gum infection by antibiotics, you have Dr Flemming to thank
In recognition of his brilliant discovery, Dr Flemming was
knighted, a reward richly
contribution to mankind.