*Great loss to women and children in Nigeria
By Rose Nwakuba
Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) has expressed deep sadness, pain and anguish over the demise of the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and former Minister of Health, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, who died on 4th June.
In a statement signed by Ifeyinwa Omowole, the National President of NAWOJ made available to www.gongnews.net, it said, the news of the death of Osotimehin comes as a rude shock to the association and its members because of his numerous contributions to improving the health of women and children.
When he became Minister of Health in 2008 he prioritised the health of women and children by making primary health care take the centre stage of health services in Nigeria.
We recall that he initiated a national health plan in all 36 states that focused on Primary Health care.
As expected, maternal and child mortality in Nigeria began to drop as from 2009.
NAWOJ recalls the giants strides which Osotimehin took when he was the head of the nations agency for the fight against AIDS then called National Action Committee on AIDS (NACA).
The ex-minister then sensitised Nigerians to the risk of HIV and AIDS and how to prevent it, indeed many were saved.
After serving as Minister, Osotimehin proceeded to the UNFPA to also continue the fight for women and children.
His death is indeed a great loss to Nigerian women, we will never forget him.
The Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Amina Mohammed, in a condolence message on twitter attested that the death of Osotimehin was a great loss to women and children in Nigeria.
We urge Nigerians especially those in the health sector to emulate the doggedness of Prof. Osotimehin in prioritising health issues.
NAWOJ commiserates with the Federal Government, Nigerians and the immediate family of the Late Professor.
May God give us all the fortitude to bear this colossal loss.