The battle of virus-hunting in Africa

The battle of virus-hunting in Africa

Where do you put your money? Single-disease eradication was the traditional favourite, dating to the Rockefeller Foundation’s work beginning a century ago on hookworm, schistosomiasis, sleeping sickness, malaria, yellow fever and other diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) campaign that eradicated smallpox in 1979 seemed to vindicate this single-disease, vertical approach, even as a WHO malaria programme was then ending in chaos.

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William Bynum is professor of the history of medicine at University College, London

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