No one will ever again die from smallpox. With the battle against that ‘most terrible of the ministers of death’ won, an unprecedented humanitarian coalition has now turned its attention to polio, malaria and measles. While recent outbreaks of Ebola and Zika might suggest that the idea of an end to epidemic disease is nothing more than a pipe-dream, this brave new world may actually be a future within our grasp.
In The Health of Nations Karen Bartlett provides a dramatic account of the history of eradication and takes us to the front line of modern campaigns. Through the eyes of those working in the field, we see innovations and unique collaborations across cultural divides; we witness the perseverance and resilience of the quest to vaccinate every child in spite of war and strife. Taking us from the high-tech labs of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta to the villages of Nigeria and the remotest areas of the Middle East, The Health of Nations is both urgent and riveting, revealing what we’ve achieved and how we might yet win the battles to come.