Guerilla soldier vaccinates a child

A Bridge for Peace:

Guerilla soldiers providing vaccinations, El Salvador, 1980s
Courtesy PAHO/WHO

In 1985, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) launched a campaign to eradicate polio from the Americas. At the time, Central Americans faced major health problems due to ongoing conflict in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. PAHO worked with government leaders, combatants, and local organizations to cease hostilities to allow for immunization campaigns.


What does this image of global health mean to you?

Join the conversation was open for comment during the exhibition's installation at the National Library of Medicine from April 2008 to December 2010. Take a look at these photos that illustrate moments in global health history, and see what others had to say about them.

Read the comments left by previous visitors here.


this extraordinary accomplishment is similar to the eradication of smallpox, which D.A. Henderson's new book, Smallpox: The Death of a Disease, talks about.

i think people need to stand up and be heard about this problem. SO LISTEN TO WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY !!!!

Curing the most uncurable of dieses. finding solutions to uncurable problems and making everyone well and as comfortable as possible

PAHO seems to be a successful group in its mission to use Health as a means for peace. Conflict severely affects the people in these areas and helping to vaccinate a simple disease like polio is important. I am impressed by the efforts of PAHO and hope that these countries will learn by PAHO's example.

I really enjoyed the exhibit. After going on the tour I've been inspired to find an international opportunity to volunteer as a Nurse.

I think its interesting how people are still fighting for peace.Some people are willing to give up there lives to have peace in the world. Thatiswhy they have become a part of history.Thatis why it is so speacil.

It is true that there are humans who look at the world and don't do anything about making it a better place to live, but this picture shows that there always have been and will be people there to help!

i tink back then was a very different and more active time from now .most people get these serious illnessess.most people should agree with me.and if its very dangerous they should actually have their childrens vaccined.

Despite the atrocities and hardships of conflict and warfare every child still deserves a chance to survive curable diseases that at the turn of the century would have been incurable.

Powerful juxtaposition of the gun and the hypodermic.....

The site makes it very clear not only that war is an impediment to the fundamental right to protection from disease, but also that health programs can actually foster communication and perhaps even peace itself between warring factions.

The success of these vaccination campaigns should give pause to those who rail against vaccination.

and now we have people who choose *not* to vaccinate their kids