SCIENCES

The Health of Nations: The Campaign To End Polio and Eradicate Epidemic Diseases

Oneworld Pubs. Apr. 2017. 304p. photos. notes. ISBN 9781786070685. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781786070692. HEALTH
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Smallpox, polio, measles, and malaria are a few of the diseases that cause devastation in many countries. Smallpox has been eradicated, but ridding the world of other viruses is not easy. Bartlett (with Eva Schloss, After Auschwitz: A Story of Heartbreak and Survival), a London-based journalist and former director of human rights group Charter88, takes readers on an epidemiological tour to see how public health professionals fight disease around the globe. From Edward Jenner's discovery that inoculating people with cowpox would prevent smallpox to the development of rival polio vaccines by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin to efforts to contain outbreaks of Ebola and Zika, she looks at the obstacles posed by a lack of resources, government bureaucracies, and the difficulties of reaching isolated rural areas. She also covers the contributions of nonprofits and organizations such as the Gates Foundation. Anyone interested in public health and its interface with politics will find both hope and frustration here.
VERDICT A fascinating look at epidemiology and the challenges that public health workers face.
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