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Soyinka dies at 85

The renowned researcher and former Provost of the College of Health Sciences of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof Femi Soyinka has died in the early hours of Tuesday in his private residence at Kukumada Village, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Penpushing reports that, the family in a statement issued by Ayodele Soyinka, confirmed the death of the younger brother of Nobel laureate and professor of comparative literature, Prof Wole Soyinka, adding that the deceased was survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The son of the late Professor who issued the statement said, in 1972,he obtained a Master of Public Health degree from Hadassah Medical School, (MPH) Israel, disclosed that burial arrangements would be announced by the family later

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‘The Soyinka Family of Ake/Isara, Ogun State, has announced the passing of their father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle Professor Femi Soyinka, which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday, 14 June 2022 at his home in Kukumada Village, Ibadan, Oyo State’, the family said.

Penpushing further reports that, Soyinka was born in 1937, received a Medical degree in Medicine and Surgery MBchB from University of Heidelberg, 1964; and Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from the same University in 1965, while he specialised and practised as a Dermatologist, Venereologist and Allergologist at the University of Giessen,1969.

The profile has it that, he worked in the academic field for 30 years, holding various positions from Chief Medical Director to Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Provost of College of Health Sciences of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

Penpushing also reports that,he was equally involved in ex-tensive research work on Tropical Skin Diseases and Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in collaboration with the Federal government, international donor agencies and organizations such as the World Bank, UNDP, DFID, the British Council; and the International Development Re-search Centre, Canada.

The late Professor pioneered several researches in the field of HIV/AIDS and worked as consultant to various international and local agencies including the World Health Organization, DFID, UNDP and Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health based on his extensive experience on the subject in various parts of the country.

Penpushing reports that Soyinka was in the forefront of mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, and by  translating the outcomes of his researches into clinical practice, he impacted significantly not only in the lives of numerous individuals and families living with the disease but also on the nation as a whole.

The deceased initiated the Ambassador of Hope program in Nigeria, encouraging people living with HIV/AIDs (PLWHAs) to speak up, thereby bringing the much-needed public awareness to the disease at a time when knowledge was low and stigma was high.

Penpushing further reports that,he also demonstrated technical knowledge and was involved with many other HIV/AIDs related programs including HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, ARV programs, voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) and home-based care for PLWHAs in Nigeria.

The late medical expert subsequently, contributed significantly to capacity building of indigenous organizations across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria through his non-governmental organization – New Initiative for the Enhancement of Life and Health (NELAH) previously known as; Network on Ethics/Human Rights, Law, HIV/AIDS-Prevention, Support and Care (NELA).

Penpushing also reports that, the late Soyinka was a past president of Society for AIDS in Africa and he successfully coordinated the International Conference on AIDS and STIS In Africa (ICASA) in Abuja, Nigeria in the year 2005.

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