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Book and Media Reviews
April 13, 2011

Chasing Polio in Pakistan: Why the World's Largest Public Health Initiative May Fail

JAMA. 2011;305(14):1488-1492. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.441

In December 1979, smallpox was declared to have been eradicated—only 13 years after the World Health Organization launched an intensive global campaign involving multiple governmental and nongovernmental agencies. The success of that campaign inspired many similar ones for diseases such as malaria, measles, and polio. However, despite the best efforts of all of the governmental and nongovernmental agencies involved, not to mention the billions of dollars spent, eradication of these diseases has remained frustratingly elusive.