Smallpox Eraducation Programme Archive

target zero


Documents have been categorized by country, subject matter, and/or source, and may appear under multiple categories. For example, a WHO/SE report of a study conducted in India concerning smallpox transmission patterns will be listed under India as the source and Smallpox: Clinical Features as the subject. If it was presented at a meeting, it will be listed under that meeting as the source.

World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO publications concerning smallpox and its eradication were issued by:

World Health Assembly, WHO's governing body, and its advisory Executive Board — Reports, debate, and resolutions

Expert Committees, Advisory Groups, Study Groups, and Working Groups

International and Global Commissions for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication

Other publications included:

Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) (see Related Archives)

Magazines and journals informing the public about WHO activities (see Related Archives)

Smallpox Eradication unit (WHO)

The Smallpox Eradication unit issued reports to SEP and national staff. These included:

Smallpox Surveillance Report — Reprinted from the Weekly Epidemiological Record for wider distribution; eventually supplemented with detailed tables.

Target Zero Progress Report distributed to field staff.

The WHO/SE report series — Some 450 papers written by field staff detailing observations, outbreak investigations, experiments, and so on. Papers were presented at regional meetings or sent to the WHO Headquarters unit, which edited and distributed them to a mailing list of about 500.


CDC (then the Communicable Disease Center) operated a USAID-funded Smallpox Eradication/Measles Control Program in western and central Africa during 1966-1972. Many were newly independent. They included 13 former French colonies, 5 former English colonies, and one that used both languages.

Documents relating to the program were unfortunately destroyed during a government paperwork reduction initiative in the early 1980s. Former chief of the program J. Donald Millar has donated his personal archive to the CDC, and the files are being rebuilt. Curator Mary Hilpertshauser has been extremely helpful in providing digital documents, and we have been able to contribute some documents and photographs from DA's personal archive to CDC.


All WHO documents are © World Health Organization (WHO), 2016. All rights reserved. See Copyright notice and Permissions and licensing for more information.

WHO Regions

WHO Regions in which the SEP was active. Each region had a Regional Office responsible for conducting the SEP. Regional Offices were critical in the day-to-day operations of the

Select a country from the drop-down list in one of the WHO Regions below.



  • Clinical and epidemiologic features
  • Laboratory diagnosis and virology of the variola virus
  • Therapy and prophylaxis
Policy and Procedures

Operational Policies and Practices

  • Surveillance/containment
  • Outbreak investigation
  • Vaccination procedures
  • Program evaluation
  • International and national cooperation
Post-Eradication Activities

Post-Eradication Activities

  • Variola virus stocks
  • Laboratory research on orthopoxviruses
  • Vaccine reserves
  • Vaccination policy
  • Rumor investigation
Vaccine and Vaccination

Vaccine and Vaccination

  • Vaccination (techniques, contraindications, complications)
  • Immunology
  • Vaccine production
Program Status

Program Status

Summary regional and global status reports, primarily reviews delivered at inter-regional and training seminars.

Orthopoxviruses and Other Diseases

Orthopoxviruses and Other Diseases

  • Orthopoxviruses (monkeypox and other animal pox viruses)
  • Other diseases (chickenpox, measles, viral hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa))
Smallpox Surveillance Reports

Smallpox Surveillance Reports

Reprinted from the Weekly Epidemiological Record for wider distribution; eventually supplemented with detailed tables.

World Health Assembly/Executive Board

World Health Assembly/Executive Board

Reports, debate, resolutions

Target Zero Progress Reports

Target Zero Progress Reports

Distributed to SEP field staff and emphasizing the goal of zero cases of smallpox.

International and Global commissions

International and Global Commissions

Every country submitted documentation of smallpox eradication to an International Commission for review. A Global Commission reviewed International Commission reports to certify worldwide eradication of smallpox.