News @ JSI
JSI Mourns the Loss of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin
June 5, 2017
JSI is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and a JSI friend and partner.
Dr. Osotimehin achieved global renown for his contributions to public health and unerring commitment to advancing the rights of women, girls, and youth. JSI honors his legacy of leadership in sexual and reproductive health, and his work as an advocate for HIV prevention and patient rights.
“The world lost a champion of public health today,” said Joel Lamstein, JSI president. “Babatunde was dedicated to promoting women’s reproductive and maternal health and also doing what he could to mitigate HIV. JSI is proud to have been able to work closely with him in Nigeria and since he took the helm at UNFPA. We will miss him.”
Babatunde—as he was known by all—received his training as a physician in his native Nigeria and traveled to England to earn his doctorate degree in medicine. He then returned to Nigeria and worked as a professor before being appointed director general of Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS. In this capacity, JSI worked closely with Dr. Osotimehin on efforts to improve the design and implementation of the supply chain to expand HIV and AIDS care and treatment programs in Nigeria.
He brought this same passion for patient rights and quality of service to his role as Nigeria’s Minister of Health. He recognized and appreciated JSI’s contributions to contraceptive security and HIV reduction in Nigeria. While serving as minister of health, Babatunde worked to improve contraceptive availability and significantly increase government allocation of resources for contraceptive procurement. In 2011, he was elected executive director of the UNFPA and reaffirmed his commitment to ending unmet demand for family planning, eliminating harmful practices against women and girls, and stopping preventable maternal deaths.
With his death, the world loses a major advocate for the health and safety of women, children, girls, mothers, and people affected by HIV and AIDS. We mourn Dr. Osotimehin, offer strength and support to his family, and commit to celebrating his legacy by continuing his work.