30 May How to save 4 million children
Tom Zulauf, The Herald Sun
Traveling through Ethiopia in 1974, I met members of a World Health Organization (WHO) helicopter and vaccine task force who were tracking down one of the world’s last remaining pockets of smallpox in a mountainous region near the city of Gondar. Although I was impressed with their dedication at the time, I had no sense of the magnitude of their efforts. By 1980, WHO was able to certify the entire world free of smallpox, a disease that had killed more people than all the wars in history. The eradication of smallpox was in its day a rare triumph of 20th century international cooperation and cost-effectiveness. Thirty years after the smallpox victory, we have new opportunities to tackle childhood killers with vaccines and create similar success stories.