This 1975 image depicted former Peace Corp Volunteer, Ethiopia, and WHO Smallpox Operations Officer, Alan Schnur, discussing smallpox eradication protocols with local Bangladesh residents. He was one of the program's best team leaders in the field, conducting investigations, and administering vaccinations from thana to thana. When eradication efforts began, there was one surveillance team for each of the 5 regions. With increasing volunteerism this grew to one team for each of the 55 districts, and in some regions, one team was assigned to each 'thana'. A thana is analogous to a county in the United States. There were 415 thana to patrol.Local residents who became resident vaccinators, played a profound role in achieving a successful outcome to the eradication program. As locals, they were viewed as familiar, and trusted, and spoke the local dialect, thereby, facilitating enhanced communication with fellow inhabitants.
CDC/ World Health Organization; Stanley O. Foster M.D., M.P.H.
December 4, 2012