The Roots of Progress

Smallpox: The Death of a Disease

The Inside Story of Eradicating a Worldwide Killer

D. A. Henderson

The memoirs of D. A. Henderson, who led the World Health Organization’s effort to eradicate smallpox.

Unfortunately I could only read the first few chapters of this one, and wasn’t able to finish it before I had to turn my attention to my smallpox article. I’m not sure if I’ll have time to come back to it. However, I enjoyed what I read and found it enlightening about what it was like to be part of a WHO effort at that time (spoiler: full of politics and bureaucracy). There were also fascinating insights into both the technology used (the jet injector and the bifurcated needle) and the strategy (“surveillance and containment” over mass vaccination).

Relevant posts: Slaying the speckled monster

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