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tv   Reel America Miracle in Tonga - 1965  CSPAN  December 12, 2020 7:45pm-8:03pm EST

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smallpox. but in the 1960's, it was feared that increased world travel, trade and tourism put the population at risk. on may 8, 1980, the 33rd world health assembly declared the world free of smallpox. this film is part of the u.s. national libraries collection. ♪ far out in the south pacific, thousand miles north of new zealand is the reach of tonga. rises apart from others. for centuries, its people have been relatively isolated, with only occasional visitors and a small trade for bananas. .imes are changing in tonga new markets have opened in asia.
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there was a tongan merchant inine with vessels built europe. the planes will bring more and more tourists to the friendly island. more islanders will leave to study in other countries. under the leadership of the queen and the prime minister, tonga's isolation is disappearing. the latest government has been prudent and progressive. rule of prosperity without destroying traditional customs. looking forward to the expansion of trade, the government carefully considered the effective increase of cutbacks to the outside world. it was realized there was a very definite and growing threat to the tongan people. the population was totally unprotected against smallpox. and smallpox is a disease which is rampant throughout southeast asia.
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this was tonga's problem, to vaccinate a vulnerable population of 70,000 against smallpox. to do it immediately and inexpensively. [singing] ♪ tonga inrty came to
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march of 1964 in response to a request by the tongan government. there were five of us from the u.s., for physicians and in equipment specialist. we would evaluate a new rapid and inexpensive way of giving smallpox vaccinations. working together with a team of tongan medical personnel, who thed begin immediately in capital city. population, 20,000. we planned to immunize everyone within a few days. the instrument that would make it possible would be the jet injector gun. it could deliver as fast as you could pull the trigger. it was simple to operate and you were sure to get the proper amount of vaccine. you press the pedal and pull the trigger. this model is equipped with a a nozzle forit is giving injection into the superficial layer's of the skin, as you must with a smallpox vaccine.
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the gun is completely portable. the whole package ways 12 pounds. knowing that something would have to be done to get the populace interest to the immunization, we prepared information. films and posters telling about smallpox and the importance of vaccination. we delayed most of the actual planning until after we arrived. our tongan associates worked with us closely. they were very eager to help, and we cannot have gone far without assistance. very beginning and throughout our state we were given a friendly reception. the first evening we were the -- the prince.e the prince flew to atlanta, georgia in 1964 to address the problem of immunizing his people against smallpox. he met with public health service offices of the smallpox unit. it was a proficiency meeting for
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completing the study of intradermal vaccination with the new gun developed. a more suitable place in the world was tonga, a progressive country with a small population and no history of smallpox. , weng the prince is a visit photographed him getting his smallpox vaccination. this film was to be shown everywhere we went, to encourage those who would be really. people enjoyed it immensely. the next morning the vaccination drive began. some posters were put up. is a disease. vaccination prevents smallpox. every effort was made to inform the people about the vaccinations and where they could go to get them. it did not take long for them to understand that this was being done for their protection, they
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cooperated all heartedly. one of the importance of getting local people to have it. the teacher is the best one to reassure them to keep track. this laboratory technician checks the children for skin rashes or lesions. message --hem our methods and they performed many of the vaccines themselves. the tongans took care of the administrative work. we were accomplishing a lot more than just an immunization drive. we were sharing medical and public health knowledge and experience. the children were curious, not
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altogether eager, but well-behaved. they were expecting something unpleasant. , but it is the gun painless and looks -- we to one.d 50 in other places we used a 10 to one for comparison. artone was used to swap the -- arm. it prevents the intradermal head from slipping on the skin. the prince's daughter took her vaccination along with the others. then downtown, where we took care of the government workers, police, nurses. for the rest of the week we went around setting up convenient locations.
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we saw thousands of people at day. after this we went out into the countryside of the main island where we attended an event. a field day for all the high schools. occasion.e an they do sports attraction. when he was younger, the prince held a pole vaulting championship for 20 years. the tongans are a strong and healthy people. they have no problem with heart fever or colorow leara.lower -- cho we took advantage to vaccinate people. we vaccinated about 1000 people that day.
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that night we were busy centrifuging blood samples and disassembling and cleaning the gun. a remarkable instrument with a tremendous amount of time and money being saved. a smallpox vaccine is expensive. with a gun you can dilute it 50 times. that's 50 shots for the price of one. pricking a concentrated vaccine into the skin requires trained and experienced people. with a gun. the gun virtually eliminates the sterilization problems present in the manual method. all you had to do with the gun is sterilize the internal parts. it's ready to administer thousands of consecutive doses. after three and a half weeks on the main island we divided into three teams. one team remained on the main island to assess the results of the vaccinations.
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the two other teams went to the northern and central groups of the island to continue the immunization program. we went from island to island on a boat owned by the government in refrigerated the scattered catches from tongan fisherman. these boats are the only way to get from one place to another. went to a population of 10,000 people. this was the smallest number of people but it took us along this time because of the distance we had to travel. our equipment from village to village, we used a little village -- a little vehicle. we went to two or three items a day.
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in each place we were a guest in a different village. officer anddical other personnel who utilize the trip to conduct their normal medical calls. in addition to getting protection against smallpox to people of the outer island, we were looking at the effectiveness of the injector gun. to do this we vaccinated a certain number of people the conventional way. using the pressure. it was able for us to compare the results and determine the amount of protection the vaccine was giving. we made two visits to each island. once to give the injection, and the other to check the reactions two weeks later.
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when we were paddling to and , it was aoat comfortable two inches to spare. ♪
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>> he can't really appreciate the significance of the work done, but are considering the millions still unprotected against smallpox. we succeeded in immunizing 80% of the available population. lessd a faster, far expensively and more less effective than standard manual techniques. the results were in. the vaccine had taken.
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98 .4% had satisfactory vaccinations, consistently better than expected. an unparalleled success when you consider it was carried out. observing a large population after its first smallpox ♪ we worked closely with the tongan people. we shared a lot of knowledge and
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experience and perhaps most of statesnga and the united a cop or something that was of importance to the world, for what was accomplished here on a small pacific island could help all people. ♪ ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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♪ >> next on "lectures in history," university of texas at arlington professor stephanie cole taught a class on the life and work of antebellum social reformer lucretia mott. she was a leading advocate in a number of mid-19th century causes, including abolition and women's rights. professor cole argues lucretia mott was a "radical" in her time because she challenged the , conventional norms of women's roles, in everything from christianity to marriage. the university of texas at arlington provided the video. at 9:00 p.m. eastern, political satirist mark russell and former congressman joe crowley discussed the role humor plays in politics, particularly during contentious times, at 10:00 p.m.
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eastern, 7:00 p.m. pacific, december 12 march the 25th anniversary of the bush versus gore case that decided the 2000 presidential election. this week on "reel america." four archival films on the u.s. constitution and the power of the supreme court. professor cole: today's class is doing a couple different things for us. i am going to tell you about the history of lucretia mott, who was a noted antebellum reformer, one of the most famous women of her day. she was noted because she was active in the cause against slavery. she was a noted abolitionist. she opposed indian removal and supported native american rights. she was an attendee at the first women's rights convention and a frequent speaker at women's rights meetings through the 1850's. as she spoke on a number of other causes, major and minor, of her day.


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