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.
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. [
Maasai elders in Kenya's Rift Valley. They remember massive cattle losses and trade restrictions caused by rinderpest. [
Dr Ricky Ireri, Head of the Virology Division, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, where a groundbreaking rinderpest vaccine was developed. [©FAO/Tony Karumba]
A woman in Tajikistan carries a bucket of fresh milk. Women, men and children depend on healthy animals for their well-being.
A 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]
A veterinarian in Kosovo on a routine visit. Rinderpest control efforts led to the formation or strengthening of veterinary services in many countries.
Animal health experts from around the world have worked with governments, institutions, donors and communities under the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme. [©FAO/Giulio Napolitano]
In 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]
In 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]
In 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]