Dr. Ciro de Quadros

Dr. Ciro de Quadros M.D.,M.P.H.

1993 in Public Health

Dr. Ciro de Quadros is recognized as the leading figure in the massive campaign that eradicated poliomyelitis in the Western Hemisphere. He is a Brazilian and graduated from the Catholic Medical School in Proto Alegre, Brazil, and received a MPH degree from the National School of Public Health, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He started his career as a public health officer at a health center in the Amazon region of Brazil. He subsequently joined the World Health Organization as the chief epidemiologist for the Smallpox Eradication Program in Ethiopia. In 1977 Dr. Ciro de Quadros became senior advisor on Immunization at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in Washington, DC, USA. Among his many responsibilities he lead the PAHO’s regional poliomyelitis eradication initiative that covered more than 30 countries in that continent. This initiative was highly extensive and required the coordination of activities throughout countries in the Western Hemisphere, some of which were experiencing social, political and economical difficulties at the time. The initiative was extraordinarily successful and it is now over seven years since the last case of poliomyelitis due to wild poliovirus was detected in the entire Western Hemisphere in August 1991. While the initiative was conceived through the advise of many distinguished scientists and public health experts and was pursued by thousands of health workers in the areas, its success has generally been credited to the leadership as well as the technical, administrative and organizational capabilities of Dr. Ciro de Quadros. The success in the eradication of poliomyelitis in as area as large as the Western Hemisphere served as an effective catalyst for the global eradication efforts now under way and which follow the model developed in the Americas.
Dr. Ciro de Quadros’s achievement is an exemplary model of successful application of vaccine sciences, epidemiological surveillance and community participation toward the eradication of a major viral disease which affects the well being of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. At present, Dr. Ciro de Quadros is the Director of Special Program for Vaccines and Immunization of the Pan American Health Organization, which deal with issues that range from vaccine research and development to vaccine production and quality control as well as with the vaccine utilization and control and eradication of vaccine preventable diseases. Among targets of this program is the elimination of measles transmission from the Western Hemisphere by the year 2000.