Licking polio: An investigation of the use of social mobilization in the years 1938-2000 in global polio eradication
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The disease of poliomyelitis was one that caused a great deal of panic among parents around the world. Children, regardless of nationality, were at risk of becoming paralyzed for life or dying from complications due to the disease. Beginning in 1938 in America, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis raised awareness and mobilized the public in the war against polio. After the development of the Salk and Sabin vaccines, polio became a common enemy in a global fight, forging alliances between international organizations, corporations, and national governments. With the World Health Organization serving as the public health leader of this campaign, the partners set a target deadline of 2000 to eradicate polio from the world. Social mobilization techniques first utilized in America were adapted and expanded to gain the human, financial, and physical resources necessary for the fight.