To eradicate smallpox in the world’s most remote regions, the WHO employed a fleet of FJ40 Land Cruisers

We might be knee-deep in a pandemic right now, but let’s remember what humanity can achieve if we work together. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, a painful and deadly disease that was killing 2 million people a year. And yet, even during the height of the Cold War, all the world’s nations embarked on an unprecedented program to wipe the disease off the face of the planet. To do that, the World Health Organization needed a fleet that could reach the most remote parts of the seven continents. Naturally, they went with the Toyota Land Cruiser.

In order to eliminate smallpox completely, the WHO had to vaccinate every single person in some countries. In India, that was a half a billion people. Many, in parts of Africa and Asia, lived in places with zero infrastructure. In this Discovery Channel documentary, an image of a Series II Land Rover appears early on, but by the end of the program it was an army of FJ40s that brought the life-saving shots to people across the Indian subcontinent. This complete annihilation of a virus, one that had killed 300 million people in the 20th century alone, is considered one of humankind’s greatest scientific accomplishments, and the trusty Toyota Land Cruiser played a major role in it.

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10 Responses to To eradicate smallpox in the world’s most remote regions, the WHO employed a fleet of FJ40 Land Cruisers

  1. F31roger says:

    That’s pretty interesting… the political and social climate must have been super tense.

    Not only was the cold war going on, but India and Pakistan relations were pretty bad.

    I work in pediatric cardiology, but a good 15% of my duties is being part of research.
    I always give my respects to those people who are putting in effort to solve medical problems.

  2. Crown says:

    My friend had a 1970 FJ40 . Back in the early ’80’s we use to go four wheeling and at the local hang out all the guys with there jacked up pickups use to try and be bad and drive across a huge water/mud hole.
    Without exception they would make it half way and drown out or just get stuck in the mud.
    My friend would then take his Land Cruiser and drive right across.

    Then to rub their noses in it he drive back again in reverse! lol

  3. harshith says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS TYPE OF VIDEOS. WE LOOK FORWARD FOR MORE. those old land cruisers and rover, were true kings of world. they roamed like no other vehicles. other thing i say was “”if it works in india it can work anywhere.”” true carlos ghosn said the same thing when launching nissan brand cars in india.

  4. Max Motter says:

    Do early 70 series count as JNC?

  5. Mark F Newton-John says:

    Jeep couldn’t do it, since AMC, and later Chrysler didn’t have the means to do anything outside developed countries, and Land Rover likely didn’t have the money.
    Only Toyota had the means to do this.

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