A Physician Travels to South Asia Seeking Enduring Lessons From the Eradication of Smallpox

Smallpox was certified eradicated in 1980, sparking interest in the disease’s history. A podcast called “Epidemic: Eradicating Smallpox” delves deeply into the South Asian side of the eradication campaign. The program’s success in eradicating smallpox was attributed to the careful planning and implementation of a targeted vaccine strategy in India. However, it also exposed a failure to meet people’s basic needs. The podcast aims to highlight the stories of individuals, like Rahima Banu, who were affected by the disease and did not share in the glory of the eradication effort. Lessons from this campaign are relevant to current public health challenges, including building trust and meeting basic needs to effectively respond to crises.

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