On 9 March 2021 the global cooperative movement lost Dr Eudes de Freitas Aquino, a lifelong cooperator who championed health cooperatives in Brazil and across the world.
A renowned nephrologist (kidney specialist), Dr Eudes was President of the health cooperative Unimed Piracicaba and Fundação Unimed, and was advisor to the president of Unimed Federação São Paulo.
He had served as a Board Member of the International Cooperative Alliance, president of the International Health Cooperative Organisation (IHCO), President of Unimed Brasil and OCB.
His devotion to making a difference through cooperation resulted in a mention on the Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in Brazil, Unimed being the only cooperative to have a representative on the list. He was also included in the Healthcare Management magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the healthcare sector in Brazil.
“A man of humility, he was always kind, generous and very supportive. He will long be remembered with respect and gratitude. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, co-workers and everyone whose life was touched by Dr Eudes,” IHCO said in its obituary.
ICA president Ariel Guarco said: “We received with great regret the news of the death of Eudes de Freitas Aquino. His leadership and dedication left an indelible and lasting mark not only in the contemporary history of the Brazilian cooperative health movement, but also in the history of the relationship between Brazil and the international cooperative movement.
“Eudes de Freitas Aquino was a great supporter of the cause of the cooperative movement. With wisdom and foresight he made great contributions to promoting cooperative values and principles. Like many cooperators, I am personally grateful for his firm support, always tinged with hope and humanism.”
Described by the ICA staff members who knew him as sincere, humble and deeply human, he was loved by everyone on his team.