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Carlo Urbani 1956 - 2003

he was a Nobel Peace Prize winner and the first physician to diagnose SARS

Italian doctor, he was the first to identify and classify SARS. Active since his youth in humanitarian operations, with Doctors Without Borders he works in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime to control endemic diseases among the local population, despite threats of attacks.

In 2003 in Hanoi he was the only one who understood he was facing a new disease: thus he raises the alarm to the government and the WHO, managing to convince them to adopt quarantine measures. Affected by the virus himself, he asked to be immediately hospitalized and placed in quarantine. He died after two weeks.

The anti-pandemic method he created still represents an international model today.

After his death, the then Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan wanted to remember him with these words: Dr Carlo Urbani dedicated his life to helping protect and save the life of others. It was characteristic of vigilance, professionalism and expertise that he was instrumental in ensuring an early response by the international community to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Had it not been for his recognition that the outbreak of the virus was something out of the ordinary, many more would have fallen victim to SARS. It was the cruellest of ironies that he lost his own life to SARS while seeking to safeguard others from the disease. Dr Urbani lives an inspiring legacy in the United Nations family and the global public health community. For his contribution on the front lines of the fight against disease, he will be remembered as a hero - in the best and truest sense of the word. 

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Civil Courage

in every part of the world

The committee the Forest of the Righteous wants to make known those that fight and are fighting to defend the persecuted, the innocent victims of crimes against humanity, and to protect human dignity and human rights wherever they are infringed upon, to declare the will to live in peace and civil coexistence, to seek truth and freedom of expression.