‘Getting to zero’: Ebola and the politics of disease elimination
Centre for Global Health Histories lecture
In recent years, ‘getting to zero’ has emerged as a key policy goal of global health campaigns aimed at eliminating diseases as diverse as malaria, polio and Ebola. But what are the historical origins of ‘getting to zero’ and how are these campaigns viewed by local populations?
Beginning with the smallpox eradication campaign in India in the 1970s and concluding with a survey of Ebola elimination efforts in Sierra Leone, this lecture seeks to recover the experiences of patients at the sharp end of these humanitarian interventions, offering an alternative history of getting to zero and the politics it underpins.
Speaker biography: Mark is a medical historian and journalist with a long standing interest in the history and science of infectious disease. A regular contributor to The Observer’s Science and Technology section and Guardian Comment-is-free, his has authored four books, including a global history of malaria and a social history of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic.