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SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. 1976 Oct; 235(4):25-33.The key events in the eradication of smallpox worldwide are related. Smallpox virus was spread by droplets, only from the appearance of the rash until scabs form, 4 weeks later. It only infected humans, making it a potential disease for eradication. It had been endemic in populous areas, largely China and India in ancient times, appearing in Europe in the 6th century and in America in 1520. Smallpox vaccination was known as variolation before the modern practice of vaccination with cowpox (Vaccinia) was demonstrated in 1796. Success of the 10 year long world eradication campaign depended on production of heat-stable vaccines and a reusable pronged needle that used little material. The U.S.S.R. suggested the campaign in 1959, but the current campaign began in 1976. The 1st strategy was intensive vaccination, with moderate success. Subsequent strategies involved surveillance and containment, along with improved reporting methods. The concept of an infected village was introduced, and house to house searches were instituted. Victims were put under guard and all villagers were vaccinated. The last case of virulent smallpox occurred in Bangladesh in October 1975, and of mild smallpox in Ethiopia in August 1976. The cost of the entire 10-year global eradication was $83 million for foreign assistance, and about $160 million spent by the individual countries. This is small compared to an estimated $2 billion yearly spent to control smallpox. It is ironic that smallpox became an epidemic pestilence upon the growth of populations, yet it played a major role in preventing population growth until variolation and vaccination became common.
Washington, D.C., U.S. Office of International Health, Division of Planning and Evaluation, 1976. 144 p. (Syncrisis: the dynamics of health, XIX)This report uses available statistics to examine health conditions in Senegal and their interaction with socioeconomic development. Background data are presented, after which population, health status, nutrition, environmental health, health infrastructure, facilities, services and manpower, national health policy and planning, international organizations, and the Sahel are discussed. Diseases such as malaria, measles, tuberculosis, trachoma and venereal diseases are endemic in Senegal, and high levels of infant and childhood mortality exist throughout the country but especially in rural areas. Diarrhea, respiratory infections, and neonatal tetanus contribute to this mortality and are evidence of the poor health environment, and lack of basic services including nutrition assistance, health education, and potable water. Nutrition in Senegal appears to be good in general, but seasonal and local variations sometimes produce malnutrition. Lowered fertility rates would reduce infant and maternal mortality and morbidity and might slow the present decline in per capita food intake. At present the government of Senegal has no population policy and almost no provisions for family planning services. Health services are inadequate and inefficient, with shortages of all levels of health manpower, poor planning, and overemphasis on curative services.