Humanity officially won the battle against one of the world’s most dreaded microbial killers on May 8, 1980. Meeting in Geneva, the assembled representatives to the World Health Assembly (WH A), the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision-making body, accepted the report of a commission of eminent scientists about international efforts to eradicate smallpox. Twenty-two years after the erstwhile Soviet Union first proposed that WHO commit itself to the complete elimination of smallpox, three years after the diagnosis of the last-known natural case of smallpox, and nearly two years after the world’s last-known death from smallpox,1 WHA resolution WHA33.3 “declare[d] solemnly that the world and its peoples have won freedom from smallpox, which was a most devastating disease sweeping in epidemic form through many countries since earliest time, leaving death, blindness and disfigurement in its wake and which only a decade ago was rampant in Africa, Asia and South America.”2


Public Good International Community Avian Influenza Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome 
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© Jeremy Youde 2010

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  • Jeremy Youde

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