The progress of the Polio Eradication Initiative: what prospects for eradicating measles?Health Policy Plan 1998; 13(3):212-33HP
Although various attempts have been made to eradicate infectious diseases, only smallpox has been eradicated to date. Polio is targeted for eradication in 2000 and already planning has begun for the eradication of measles. However, before we commit to a measles eradication effort, we must examine the lessons to be learned from polio eradication. Of particular importance is the debate over whether resources should be invested in 'horizontal' or 'vertical' programmes. The outcome of these debates will have a very deep and lasting impact on global health development in years to come. Collaboration between targeted programmes and the primary health care sector through polio and measles eradication efforts will help bring about the necessary balance between goal-oriented programmes, which are subject to quality control and can be evaluated by measurable outcomes, and broader efforts to build up sustainable health infrastructure.