Smallpox -- the disease that has plagued mankind for centuries has been completely eradicated. The?
GV Kenyatta Conference centre in Nairobi
GV World Health Organisation (WHO) officials greeting Vice President Kabaki of Kenya
SV Kenyatta Conference Centre sign
SV & CU Director General of WHO, Halfdan Mahler speaking and delegates listening (5 shots)
SV Vice President Kabaki speaking
SV & GV's Traditional drummers and dancers (3 shots)
MAHLER: "Bit by bit smallpox was driven from our globe. In South America the last case was reported in Brazil in 1971. All of Africa, except the Horn, had become free by 1973. In South East Asia the end of smallpox was seen in Bangladesh in 1975. And the final triumph came two years ago today when the last cast of smallpox was discovered in the port town of Merca in Somalia. And working shoulder to shoulder with these national staff have been almost one hundred WHO staff members from twenty-one different countries. In the WHO collaborating centres in Atlanta and Moscow, these field workers have been supported by equally dedicated staff who have carefully tested these ten thousand specimens collected in the past two years. Could one think of a better example of international co-operation? We celebrate this victory during the International Year of the Child and could we think of any better gift to give our children than freedom from disease. And to mark this historic date I would like to declare 26 October as 'Smallpox Zero Day'."
KABAKI: "What we know now, Mr. Chairman, and what we should all proclaim, is that we have the resources in this world to eradicate disease, poverty and illiteracy. We have enough resources -- the world community as a whole has, in fact, excess of resources, which are required for the elimination of poverty, disease and illiteracy."
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Background: Smallpox -- the disease that has plagued mankind for centuries has been completely eradicated. The World Health Organisation has declared the last infected area on earth, the Horn of Africa, to be devoid of the disease -- two years after the last reported case.
SYNOPSIS: The announcement came at a news conference in Nairobi. The last known case of the disease was in Somalia two years ago, now the world has been freed of the killer disease.
Stocks of smallpox vaccine will be kept in select laboratories for research and testing; however, hopefully, the need for the production of smallpox vaccine will never be necessary again.