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Faces behind rinderpest eradication


The global effort to eradicate rinderpest has been built on excellent science, international coordination and, ultimately, the determination of people around the world.

The success of the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP) has relied on people at the community, national and international levels to contribute their knowledge, resources and determination to confront a dreaded disease.

The people behind rinderpest eradication include farmers and pastoralists, veterinarians and laboratory technicians, government ministers, representatives of national, regional and international institutions and organizations, donors, and countless others.

People have also formed the chief inspiration for GREP, in the context of FAO’s mission to defeat hunger. Ending the plague has been an important objective in the ongoing challenge to improve lives.


titolo1 Wildlife were included in the rinderpest eradication effort. The last case of rinderpest anywhere in the world was confirmed in a herd of wild buffalo in Kenya. [ ©FAO/Tony Karumba] titolo3Maasai elders in Kenya's Rift Valley. They remember massive cattle losses and trade restrictions caused by rinderpest. [ ©FAO/Tony Karumba] titolo3Dr Ricky Ireri, Head of the Virology Division, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, where a groundbreaking rinderpest vaccine was developed. [©FAO/Tony Karumba] titolo4A woman in Tajikistan carries a bucket of fresh milk. Women, men and children depend on healthy animals for their well-being. [©FAO/Vasily Maximov] titolo5A dairy farmer in Sri Lanka's Padukka region. His cattle were among the last in the world to undergo blood testing in the campaign to eradicate rinderpest [©FAO/Ishara Kodikara] titolo6A veterinarian in Kosovo on a routine visit. Rinderpest control efforts led to the formation or strengthening of veterinary services in many countries. [©FAO/L. Miuccio] titolo7Animal health experts from around the world have worked with governments, institutions, donors and communities under the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme. [©FAO/Giulio Napolitano] titolo8In 1715, Italian physician Giovanni Maria Lancisi finished the world's first book-length manuscript on the control and prevention of rinderpest, now at the Lancisi Library in Rome. [©FAO/Alessia Pierdomenico] titolo9In the countdown to rinderpest eradication, a laboratory technician in Sri Lanka stores blood samples taken from cattle in the final field searches for the rinderpest virus. [©FAO/Ishara Kodikara] titolo10In the 1980's, Dr Yoshihiro Ozawa, then Chief of FAO's Animal Health Service, sustained that the socio-economic benefits of rinderpest eradication would far outweigh the costs.[©FAO/Giulio Napolitano]