The PAHO Immunization Award was established by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to recognize a person, group, or institutions who have greatly contributed to the enhancement of a national immunization program and to the control and/or elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases.
The establishment of this Award follows the receipt of the 1993 Prince Mahidol Award by Dr. Ciro A. de Quadros for his contribution toward Poliomyelitis Eradication in the Western Hemisphere. A portion of the monetary component of Prince Mahidol Award received by Dr. de Quadros was matched with funds from PAHO for the creation of an endowment which allows the PAHO Immunization Award to be conferred.
Procedures for the PAHO Immunization Award
1. The PAHO Immunization Award is established to foster the improvement of immunization programs and the control and/or elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases by recognizing national individuals who make special technical contributions to their country’s immunization program. The Award will be competed for annually and will consist of a certificate and the sum of approximately US$3,000.00.
2. The Award shall be conferred to a candidate who has done outstanding work in the field of immunization and control and/or eradication of vaccine-preventable diseases.
3. To encourage a broad range of candidates, there are no constraints on the education, profession, or specific discipline of individuals or organizations nominated. The Award will be given without regard to nationality.
4. Nominations are open to individuals or groups working in every level of health or related fields, particularly those working at the field level.
5. Any individual or organization may submit nominations. Nominations should be accompanied by a detailed written description of the accomplishments of the nominee and an explanation of why these accomplishments merit the PAHO Immunization Award. Nominations should not exceed four (4) pages and will be greatly aided by a curriculum vitae of the nominee. All documentation shall be submitted in one original and three copies.
6. The Award Committee for the PAHO Immunization Award shall be the PAHO Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Immunization Project, which was established by the PAHO Director in 1985 to advise PAHO on the implementation of the Immunization Project. At present, membership of TAG is as follows: Ciro de Quadros (President), Anne Schuchat, Peter Figueroa, Akira Homma, Arlene King, Jose Ignacio Santos, Jeannette Vega, Roger Glass and Anushua Sinha. They can establish additional criteria for the selection process and the rules for its decision.
7. Nominees should be presented to the Immunization Project Coordinator through the respective Ministry of Health.
8. The Comprehensive Family Immunization Unit (FGL/IM) Chief will forward to the members of the Award Committee copies of the documentation submitted, so they can decide on the Award’s recipient during their deliberations. The Committee will send the Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau its recommendations and the Director will announce the winner of the Award.
9. The Award Committee shall have the authority to declare the Award void in the event that no candidate meets the approved criteria.
10. Candidates not selected in any given year may be re-nominated for consideration once only, the following year. For such re-nomination, a simple communication incorporating any additional pertinent data shall suffice.
11. Whenever possible, the Award shall be presented during the meeting of the Directing Council of the Pan American Sanitary Conference, or, if not practical, in the home country of the recipient.
12. Whatever the method of presentation of the Award may be, it shall be accompanied by appropriate publicity issued to the news media, both by the Pan American Sanitary Bureau and the Government concerned.
13. The Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau shall request Member States to give more active consideration to the possibility of making use of the Award to enhance their immunization programs and the control and/or elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases within the framework of national health services.
Previous PAHO Immunization Awards
Previous recipients included the Uru Chipaya ERthnic Group of Bolivia (2011); EPI of El Salvador and Ecuador (2006); Nurse J. Ramsamong from Jamaica and Nurse Maria Isabel do Nascimento from Brazil (2000).
Other recipients from previous TAGs also include Ms. Clarice Watson, EPI Nurse Coordinator in Guyana; Ms. Mirian Strul, EPI Manager of Peru; Dr. Rosario Quiroga, EPI Manager of Bolivia; and Dr. Miguel Angel Galindo, EPI Manager of Cuba.