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Divining without SeedsThe Case for Strengthening Laboratory Medicine in Africa$
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Iruka N. Okeke

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449413

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449413.001.0001

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Diagnostic Certainty and Disease Control

Diagnostic Certainty and Disease Control

Chapter:
(p.106) 7 Diagnostic Certainty and Disease Control
Source:
Divining without Seeds
Author(s):

Iruka N. Okeke

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801449413.003.0008

This chapter demonstrates the importance of diagnostic certainty in disease eradication and control. It details the successful eradication of smallpox and the worldwide effort to eradicate polio. It then considers failure of the worldwide 1955–69 malaria eradication campaign. Transmission rates in parts of sub-Saharan Africa were so high that the interventions barely dented its incidence. This campaign relied entirely on chemical agents for which resistance rapidly emerged and spread. Within five years of its commencement, mosquitoes resistant to the insecticide DDT were widespread, and Plasmodium parasites resistant to the drug of choice, chloroquine, had become a menace. The failure to reevaluate the program's strategy, coupled with the insistence that it not extend beyond the original date for completion, left many countries to battle resurgent malaria alone.

Keywords:   diagnosis, disease eradication, disease control, smallpox, polio, infectious disease, malaria

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