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Nigerian AIDS Campaigner, "Hero of Public Health" and Brother of Afrobeat Legend, Dead at 75

June 4, 2003

Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, an outspoken former Nigerian health minister, influential AIDS campaigner and brother of the late African music superstar Fela, has died. Ransome-Kuti, 75, died Sunday in a London hotel while on a business trip. A post-mortem examination was being performed to ascertain the cause of death. As minister of health from 1986 to 1992, Ransome-Kuti used his influence to seek radically increased funding from African governments for cost-effective primary health services to improve the lives of millions of impoverished Africans. After Fela -- the flamboyant founder of the jazzy Afrobeat musical genre -- died in 1997, Ransome-Kuti famously revealed that AIDS caused his brother's death. He was the first well-known Nigerian to flout strong taboos against acknowledging the sickness. Ransome-Kuti and his nephew, Fela's award-winning musician son Femi Kuti, both "felt a personal need to break the silence about AIDS," Femi Kuti once said. Ransome-Kuti is survived by his wife, Sonia, two sons and a daughter.

Back to other CDC news for June 4, 2003

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Adapted from:
Associated Press
06.03.03; Glenn McKenzie


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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