Posted on 11 August 2020
The WHO declared smallpox eradicated on 8 May 1980, and to date, no other human disease has been eradicated in this way.
‘Laying the foundations for eradicating smallpox’ [by Wellcome Trust-funded writer and communications specialist Radhika Holmström], looks at the more centralised approaches of China and Brazil, the more decentralised approaches of India and Nepal; beliefs about smallpox and vaccination in those four countries; the logistics involved in developing programmes in different areas; and the move towards a global programme
Most attention has focused on the so-called ‘intensified phase’ of the eradication programme from the late 1960s onwards. Yet this was only made possible by the work that preceded it: a range of very different drives in different countries. The new briefing draws on the presentations and material from ‘The fruits of a new internationalism?: South Asian governments, the WHO and global smallpox’ (GHH seminar 26, 2 October 2008); ‘The Creation & Expansion of the Worldwide Smallpox Eradication Programme’ (GHH seminar 121, March 2019); and ‘Smallpox eradication 40 years on' (Cultural Contexts of Health and GHH webinar 138, 5 November 2019).
We thank the Wellcome Trust for their support in organising these seminars.