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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Smallpox and History: The Example of Botswana, 1930-1964
Author:Molefi, R.K.K.
Periodical:Pula: Botswana Journal of African Studies (ISSN 0256-2316)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Southern Africa
Subjects:medical history
History and Exploration
Health and Nutrition
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History, Archaeology
Labor migration
Abstract:Between 1930 and 1942, Botswana experienced mild forms of smallpox. People used traditional methods to control the disease. Batswana were reluctant to get vaccinations against a disease the effects of which they assumed they could withstand. From November 1943 on, however, the disease assumed pandemic forms and killed more people than ever before. Tswana attitudes towards smallpox changed and the population now paid particular attention to health propaganda aimed at controlling and hopefully eradicating the disease. Two factors augured well for the eradication of smallpox in the country. The first was cooperation between the local population and medical authorities in the fight against smallpox. The second was the discovery, in Great Britain, of a new and effective smallpox vaccine and its subsequent utilization in Botswana in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Valuable lessons may be learnt from this for dealing with the current HIV/AIDS pandemic sweeping through Botswana and Africa. Bibliogr., ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]