Olikoye Ransome-Kuti

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 19 June 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1400

Paediatrician who revolutionised health care in Nigeria and exposed the country's AIDS crisis

Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, who has died in a London hotel while attending a World Health Organization (WHO) conference, was one of Nigeria's foremost health experts. A specialist in paediatrics, he burst into the national limelight when former military president General Ibrahim Babangida appointed him as health minister in 1985.

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The two had met at the Nigeria Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies a few years earlier, before Babangida seized power. The general was at the institute for a course when Ransome-Kuti came to deliver a lecture. The lecture had such a gripping effect on Babangida that when he became head of state, one of his first tasks was to offer the professor the health ministry.

Ransome-Kuti did not disappoint and made his mark through the rapid introduction of a comprehensive national health policy. He revolutionised …

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