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    320487

    Vikings against tuberculosis: The International Tuberculosis Campaign in India, 1948 -- 1951.

    Brimnes N

    Bulletin of the History of Medicine. 2007 Summer; 81(2):407-430.

    Between 1947 and 1951 the Scandinavian-led International Tuberculosis Campaign tested more than 37 million children and adolescents for tuberculosis, and vaccinated more than 16 million with BCG vaccine. The campaign was an early example of an international health program, and it was generally seen as the largest medical campaign to date. It was born, however, as a Danish effort to create goodwill in war-ravaged Europe, and was extended outside Europe only because UNICEF in 1948 unexpectedly donated US $2 million specifically for BCG vaccination in areas outside Europe. As the campaign transformed from postwar relief to an international health program it was forced to make adaptations to different demographic, social, and cultural contexts. This created a tension between a scientific ideal of uniformity, on the one hand, and pragmatic flexibility on the other. Looking at the campaign in India, which was the most important non-European country in the campaign, this article analyzes three issues in more detail: the development of a simplified vaccination technique; the employment of lay-vaccinators; and whether the campaign in India was conceived as a short-term demonstration or a more extensive mass-vaccination effort. (author's)
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