1.) Smallpox: A disease that, according to estimates, caused 400,000 deaths per year in Europe alone at the end of the 18th century.The above map shows the date when smallpox were eradicated in each country.
2.) Rinderpest or cattle plague: Officially eradicated according to the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP) in 2011
3.) Polio: Eliminated in most parts of the world and soon to be eradicated globally. In 1985 there were estimated to be 400,000 Poliomyelitis cases per year, while in 2016 there were only 37 cases according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)
4.) Guinea worm disease: The guinea worm is the largest tissue parasite in humans and can cause months long sickness. In 1986 there were about 3.5 million known cases while in 2015 that number had plummeted to an unbelievable 22(!!!) In the chart below you can see the drastic decline over the past 25 years.
5.) Tetanus: In the chart below you can see that maternal and neonatal tetanus has been eliminated in most parts of the world. The “only” remaining regions are central and sub-saharan Africa as well as China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the northern parts of India. These numbers are from the WHO from 2013 making it very likely that by now there are even fewer cases or regions then what you can see on this map.
Check the Source: Progress report towards immunization goals by the WHO and UNICEF
6.) Malaria: It is one of the deadliest diseases of our time responsible for more than 800,000 deaths globally in 2000. When looking at the chart below however you can see how far we have come. In only 15 years we have managed to halve the number of deaths and the WHO is aiming to reduce that number by a further 90% until 2030.
Looking at all these numbers, it makes me happy and hopeful to know how far we’ve come and that we’re truly able to make the world a better and more liveable place for everyone. I think it is absolutely essential for everyone to know about these matters in order to have a more balanced, fact based and positive view of the world.
Source: All the charts and information of this article are from OurWorldInData.org, please check out their great website. The charts (except the tetanus map) are licensed under CC-BY-SA by the author Max Roser
Featured image courtesy of stevepb via Pixabay.com