The global health community loses a hero and leader in the effort to eradicate polio, smallpox and measles

Dr. Ciro de Quadros

Credit: Evan Wilder/Sabin Vaccine Institute.

Washington, 30 May 2014 – The GAVI Alliance joins the global health community in mourning the loss of vaccine and public health pioneer Dr. Ciro de Quadros, who passed away on 28 May.

As Executive Vice President and Director of Vaccine Advocacy and Education at the Sabin Institute, Dr. de Quadros was a driving figure in the organisation’s work with the Alliance.

Dr. de Quadros served as the first chair of the GAVI Alliance’s Independent Review Committee, where he boldly led discussion on new vaccine introductions and immunisation support service proposals, encouraging participation by EPI managers to help build capacity. His encouragement of countries to build multi-year plans for immunisation has become a global standard.

“We have lost a giant in immunisation and public health,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance in a personal tribute. “I had known Ciro for close to 30 years, and he never ceased to amaze me with his passion for vaccines and his can do attitude. He was deeply dedicated to saving the lives of children everywhere.”

Public Health Hero of the Americas

The Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) recently recognised the Brazilian epidemiologist’s central role in the eradication of polio from Latin America and the Caribbean by awarding Dr de Quadros the title of Public Health Hero of the Americas.

Dr. de Quadros’ tireless efforts led to the development of ground-breaking surveillance and containment strategies for the eradication of smallpox worldwide, and successful polio and measles eradication efforts in the Americas.

Before joining the Sabin Institute, Dr. de Quadros was Director of the Division of Vaccines and Immunisation at PAHO. He also served as WHO’s Chief Epidemiologist for the Smallpox Eradication Program in Ethiopia from 1970 to 1976.

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