This 1975 photograph depicted a smallpox eradication team member, Jennifer Alpern (woman in white), discussing the 'smallpox card' with a young bastee inhabitant, which showed a smallpox case example, described the reward associated with ones discovery of a smallpox case, and asked if one knew of any such cases. Ms. Alpern, the daughter of U.S. diplomat Stanley Alpern, was a volunteer 'searcher' in Bangladesh under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Weniger, a World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist. During these country wide searches for smallpox, each one of the 12 million homes had to be visited, in order to show residents the smallpox case photograph, as well as ask pertinent, investigative questions. Some of these homes were located inside the transient communities known as bastees, which were non-governmentally controlled, and where squalor ran rampant. The 'homes' were more or less makeshift tent-houses, with no utilities such as running water or electricity.
CDC/ World Health Organization; Stanley O. Foster M.D., M.P.H.
December 4, 2012