Eradicating smallpox

In 1967, smallpox still killed 2 million people annually around the world. That year, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched an intensified plan to eradicate the disease through mass vaccination. Thirteen years later, smallpox was officially eradicated. Dr. H. Mahler, WHO Director-General at the time, described the smallpox program as a “triumph of management”.

WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system, providing leadership on global health matters.

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