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Chapter 5 : The Future for Global Disease Eradication
Programs to control measles, whooping cough, cholera and other infectious diseases are a mainstay of international public health efforts and will continue to be well into the foreseeable future. While eradicating a disease is the ultimate achievement in disease control, the move from control to eradication requires an extraordinary commitment. This final chapter of the book Global Disease Eradication: the Race for the Last Child examines the future of disease eradication. The lessons learned from these efforts will help determine the likelihood of success of coming campaigns. These lessons focus on four interrelated strategic issues; how well any given eradication strategy addresses them will decide what those coming campaigns are. The four issues encompass the following: 1) Biologic feasibility—How robust are the strategies to stop transmission of the agent and to put a post-eradication plan in place? 2) Financial resources—Are sufficient monies available from national and external funding sources, and are external funds distributed equitably? 3) Political will—Do world leaders and decision makers view the disease as a serious health threat? 4) Social benefit—Does the eradication strategy support broader health goals, including building and sustaining an equitable health care infrastructure? The chapter discusses each of these issues in detail.