theatlantic
theatlantic:

The Last Smallpox Patient on Earth

On December 9, 1979, the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication signed their names to the statement that “smallpox has been eradicated from the world.” 
It was the first time that a disease had been banished from the earth by the planning and action of the world’s public health professionals. And it became a model for later (ongoing) efforts to eradicate polio and several lesser known diseases.
The disease only spread from human to human, so there had been an unbroken chain of infection for more than three millennia. In the 1960s, before the eradication program, more than half a million people died every year from the disease.
But in country after country, vaccination and isolation programs lowered rates of infection until the numbers dwindled to one person who was infected, the last patient.
Read more. [Image: World Health Organization]

theatlantic:

The Last Smallpox Patient on Earth

On December 9, 1979, the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication signed their names to the statement that “smallpox has been eradicated from the world.” 

It was the first time that a disease had been banished from the earth by the planning and action of the world’s public health professionals. And it became a model for later (ongoing) efforts to eradicate polio and several lesser known diseases.

The disease only spread from human to human, so there had been an unbroken chain of infection for more than three millennia. In the 1960s, before the eradication program, more than half a million people died every year from the disease.

But in country after country, vaccination and isolation programs lowered rates of infection until the numbers dwindled to one person who was infected, the last patient.

Read more. [Image: World Health Organization]

theatlantic
theatlantic:

229 Million Children Are Officially Invisible

Registering babies at birth may be a routine, almost automated process in the United States, but it’s a rarity in some impoverished nations in both South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new report released on Tuesday by UNICEF. In all, there are nearly 230 million children in the world who are nameless and stateless. And they may languish in anonymity for a good portion of their early lives.
Living without any proof of your existence can be a major challenge. The associated paperwork is often necessary to secure healthcare, education, and other basic rights. And children who don’t have identification are also left at higher risk of displacement, exploitation, and human trafficking. In the chaos of war or disaster, reuniting children separated from their family can be difficult, if not impossible, without proper documentation. And with no formal proof of age, marriage, military service, and employment may all become a reality much sooner than appropriate. 
Read more. [Image: Stuart Price/United Nations]

theatlantic:

229 Million Children Are Officially Invisible

Registering babies at birth may be a routine, almost automated process in the United States, but it’s a rarity in some impoverished nations in both South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new report released on Tuesday by UNICEF. In all, there are nearly 230 million children in the world who are nameless and stateless. And they may languish in anonymity for a good portion of their early lives.

Living without any proof of your existence can be a major challenge. The associated paperwork is often necessary to secure healthcare, education, and other basic rights. And children who don’t have identification are also left at higher risk of displacement, exploitation, and human trafficking. In the chaos of war or disaster, reuniting children separated from their family can be difficult, if not impossible, without proper documentation. And with no formal proof of age, marriage, military service, and employment may all become a reality much sooner than appropriate.

Read more. [Image: Stuart Price/United Nations]