NEJM Series – Disease Eradication

New England Journal of Medicine
January 3, 2013  Vol. 368 No. 1
http://content.nejm.org/current.shtml

Review Article – Global Health
Disease Eradication
Donald R. Hopkins, M.D., M.P.H.
N Engl J Med 2013; 368:54-63 January 3, 2013 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra1200391

Extract
“Since the last case of naturally occurring smallpox, in 1977, there have been three major international conferences devoted to the concept of disease eradication.1-3 Several other diseases have been considered as potential candidates for eradication,4 but the World Health Organization (WHO) has targeted only two other diseases for global eradication after smallpox. In 1986, WHO’s policymaking body, the World Health Assembly, adopted the elimination of dracunculiasis (guinea worm disease) as a global goal,5 and it declared the eradication of poliomyelitis a global goal in 1988.6 Although both diseases now appear to be close to eradication, the fact that neither goal has been achieved after more than two decades, and several years beyond the initial target dates for their eradication, underscores the daunting challenge of such efforts, as does the failure of previous attempts to eradicate malaria, hookworm, yaws, and other diseases.1…”

Editorial
A Global View of Health — An Unfolding Series
Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D., and David J. Hunter, M.B., B.S., Sc.D., M.P.H.

N Engl J Med 2013; 368:78-79January 3, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe1208801

Extract
“This issue of the Journal includes the first article in a series of review articles on global health.1 In a journal that proudly bears the name of a U.S. domestic region, this series will show that local health and local health care are linked to sources of ill health elsewhere in the world. Today, not only are health problems global, but lessons, insights, and fresh solutions regarding such problems flow in all directions. The series is built around articles that explain the need for global health, the challenges to achieving it, and the solutions to problems related to it…”