Eradication of disease is a major social achievement. To date, six attempts have been made to eradicate diseases in which humans are the primary or sole host, but only one has been successful. Success depends on very high levels of participation, beyond the levels predicted if individual community members act rationally in a self-interested way. Because near-universal participation is a condition of the achievement of eradication, a global eradication initiative can be held to ransom by a single country or small political groups. It is not always in the interests of a country to participate in an eradication initiative, particularly if there are pressing health needs in other areas. Game theory provides a useful way of understanding these processes. To achieve disease eradication, an international system of diplomatic and financial incentives and enforcements will need to be developed.
|Title of host publication||Disease Eradication in the 21st Century: Implications for Global Health|
|Editors||Stephen L Cochi, Walter R Dowdle|
|Place of Publication||USA|
|Publisher||The MIT Press|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|