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Fighting Smallpox in Africa: Behind the Scenes at Dusenberry-River Library

October 12, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


Storyteller, speaker, and author Bee Bloeser will visit the Dusenberry-River Library at 2pm on Thursday, October 12, 2023, to talk about her book, Vaccines & Bayonets: Fighting Smallpox in Africa Amid Tribalism, Terror and the Cold War.

Join Bloeser as she describes the thrilling campaign that made medical history. This talk is an overview of both the victory over smallpox and the geopolitical environment faced by the campaign and by one public health family. In Bloeser’s words: “It’s early post-colonial days. In the Nigerian Sahel we’ll meet women hidden behind walls. In steamy Equatorial Guinea where only two other Americans live, bayonets pierce toys and Tupperware as we unpack. With our toddler and preschooler, we live life on a tightrope and wonder what’s next as ‘the terror’ stalks the eerily silent streets.”

Bee Bloeser has lived in Africa, the Middle East, and Native American nations. A retired speech-language pathologist, she is a member of Toastmasters International and PEO, a philanthropic education organization that funds education for women and girls.

Her historical memoir, Vaccines & Bayonets, has been praised by Foreign Policy magazine’s deputy editor and by The Economist’s Midwest correspondent and former bureau chief in Johannesburg and Delhi. A percentage of net proceeds from Vaccines & Bayonets supports water wells for Africa.

Following this talk, Bloeser will be available to sign copies of her book.


October 12, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


Dusenberry-River Library
5605 E. River Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85750
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