Ciro de Quadros Global Health Hero Award

Ciro Carlos Araujo de Quadros, MD, MPH

January 30, 1940 – Rio Pardo, Brazil

May 28, 2014 – Washington, D.C., USA

“Vision, Value, Valor.”


Ciro Carlos Araujo de Quadros was born on January 30, 1940 to a middle class family in Rio Pardo, Brazil. After completing his medical training at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, he joined the Brazilian public health service, where he became interested in epidemiology and infectious diseases. Dr. de Quadros conceptualized a technique of surveillance and containment in Paraná where, he single-handedly eradicated smallpox from the southern Brazilian state during the late 1960s. In the 1970s, as a chief epidemiologist with the World Health Organization, he led the eradication of smallpox in Ethiopia, Africa. Upon return to the US, he joined the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) to turn his attention to the Americas. In 1985 he brought Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin to Washington to kick off PAHO’s efforts to eradicate polio from the Americas that succeeded in 1991 (with the last case reported in Peru), and helped launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. In 2014, he was awarded the Pan American Health Organization’s prestigious Public Health Hero Award.


His persuasive prowess combined with his unwavering determination resulted in warring factions to cease fire for immunization days. His commitment to the Caribbean “Big Bang” campaign “Let’s Make Measles History” in 1991 is legendary. He believed that “medicine, sanitation, nutrition, education – all are necessary and interrelated components of preventing and curing sickness” – a philosophy that is the heart and soul of the Global Health consortium @ Florida International University (GHC @ FIU).


Ciro’s advocacy for Sabin resulted in his becoming the Vice President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. His quest to control vaccine-preventable diseases continued with measles, human papillomavirus (HPV), pneumococcal pneumonia, rotavirus, rubella, amongst other illnesses that take lives every day. He orchestrated revolutionary global vaccination policies that have spared millions from death by vaccine-preventable diseases. His lasting legacy will be the Global Vaccine Action Plan as his ethos was “Every child — no matter where he or she is born — has a fundamental right to vaccines.”


Ciro stressed the importance of collective efforts and culturally-sensitive strategies, emphasizing a buy-in from the stakeholders as key to success in vaccination campaigns. His policies continue to serve as the blueprint for other vaccination campaigns across the globe.


The passing of Ciro de Quadros on May 28th, 2014 was a loss for humanity. However, his vision lives on in others who strive to emulate his exemplary life. He was truly a Global Health Hero. The GHC @ FIU names this award in his honor to serve as a testament to his tenets.


Commencing 2016, the Global Health Consortium will honor an innovator in the field of global health with the Ciro de Quadros Global Health Hero Award. It will be awarded to individuals who epitomize the values and unwavering dedication to public health that Ciro de Quadros held so dear.


The award recognizes an individual who:

  • Has distinguished professional achievement in public health.
  • Has made significant contributions impacting multicultural environment.
  • Is recognized as a true leader in research, education and advocacy in global and public health.


The inductee will receive the following:

  • Recognition at the 7th Global Health Conference (GHC) Speakers’ Reception.
  • Photograph and biography of inductee to be featured in the conference booklet.
  • Presented with a custom-made plaque for the award.


The nomination process is as follows:

  • Nomination: Any member of the global community can nominate.
  • Submission: All the paperwork has to be submitted by November 30th, 2016 to the Director of Global Health Consortium, Dr. Carlos Espinal.
  • Review: The list of nominees will be initially reviewed by the Ciro de Quadros Award Committee, then submitted to the Office of External Relations at FIU.
  • Recommendation: the GHC director will recommend finalists to the Office of the President for final approval.
  • Notification: The President of the University and the Chair of the GHC Conference Chair will notify the inductee.



CDQGHH Nomination