Rinderpest Eradication: Appropriate Technology and Social Innovations

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Science  14 Sep 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6100, pp. 1309-1312
DOI: 10.1126/science.1223805

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Rinderpest is only the second infectious disease to have been globally eradicated. In the final stages of eradication, the virus was entrenched in pastoral areas of the Greater Horn of Africa, a region with weak governance, poor security, and little infrastructure that presented profound challenges to conventional control methods. Although the eradication process was a development activity rather than scientific research, its success owed much to several seminal research efforts in vaccine development and epidemiology and showed what scientific decision-making and management could accomplish with limited resources. The keys to success were the development of a thermostable vaccine and the application of participatory epidemiological techniques that allowed veterinary personnel to interact at a grassroots level with cattle herders to more effectively target control measures.

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