Eradication ridding the world of diseases forever by nancy leys stepan provides a rich context for the role of eradication historically and conceptually in public health and along the way touches on many of the fault lines that stress and enrich public health. How shall we improve human health one answer is by eradication the gates foundation announced in 2007 that their goal is malaria eradication another of their priorities is polio eradication eradication means the complete elimination of a disease through deliberate human intervention it stands for an absolute in public health. But critics of eradication argue that the huge resources needed to achieve eradication could be better allocated toward developing primary health services and general improvement in health this book aims to look at the benefits and drawbacks of single minded efforts to rid the world of particular diseases one at a time. Nancy leys stepans new book eradication ridding the world of diseases forever highlights the many decades of vacillating enthusiasm for global eradication strategies and the often polarized debates between those who support them and those who believe equally fervently in investing instead in the provision of basic health services all of the old tropes emerge vertical versus horizontal programs forcing countries to invest heavily in the eradication meaning zero cases . The dream of a world completely free of disease may seem utopian but eradication used in its modern sense to mean the reduction of the number of cases of a disease to zero by deliberate public health interventions has been pursued repeatedly campaigns against yellow fever malaria and smallpox have been among the largest most costly programs ever undertaken in international public
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