Strategies for the Twenty-First Century — Control or Eradication?
The eradication of smallpox has renewed a once dormant debate about the feasibility and desirability of undertaking eradication campaigns against other infectious agents. In their enthusiasm for such programs, protagonists for eradication overlook a regrettable history of program failures which ultimately called into question the credibility of public health professionals. Characteristically, failed programs have not been scientifically well-grounded nor have they had effective surveillance or research components. The present global polio program bears certain of these attributes. Rather than to agonize over policy issues of what to eradicate or to control, it would make more practical sense to develop an effective international research infrastructure, especially in the tropics and in third world countries. With qualified staff in situ, the difficult questions are more likely to be asked — and answered — than they are at present.
KeywordsYellow Fever Eradication Program Acute Flaccid Paralysis Polio Eradication Malaria Eradication
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