Students in Addis Ababa gathered at the sports stadium it the Ethiopian capital on Friday (15 November) to be vaccinated against smallpox.
Students in Addis Ababa gathered at the sports stadium it the Ethiopian capital on Friday (15 November) to be vaccinated against smallpox. This is part of a plan to eradicate the disease by the end of 1975.
Since 1971 the Ethiopian Health Ministry has made a determined effort to stamp out smallpox in the country and the number of smallpox cases reported has dropped sharply. However, as people living in the mountainous rural regions do not readily accept the need for vaccination outbreaks of the disease still occur.
One such outbreak is raging at present in an area some two hundred and fifty miles (400 kms) north of Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia is the only African country in which smallpox is still endemic.
SYNOPSIS: In Ethiopia, a nationwide smallpox eradication campaign is well underway as the Health authorities make a determined effort to stamp out the disease. Students in Addis Ababa gathered at the capital's National Stadium on Friday to be vaccinated against smallpox and be given preventative medicine for malaria.
Only six years ago, smallpox was still a major health hazard in thirty one countries of the world. Today, it is endemic to only four -- Ethiopia, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
Armed soldiers were on guard at the sports stadium and the students' names were carefully checked off to make sure that everyone was vaccinated.
The campaign to eradicate smallpox in Ethiopia began in 1971. The number of cases last year was only one fifth of the 1971 figure. However, in areas where the disease still persists the local people are still suspicious of vaccination. The Ethiopian Government has organised the present drive in an attempt to wipe out smallpox by the end of 1975.