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Soyinka’s younger brother dies at 85

Femi Soyinka, professor of dermatology, venereology and clinical immunology, has died at 85.

He was the immediate younger brother of Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka.

The Soyinka family of Ake/Isara, Ogun State announced his passing in a release signed by the deceased’s son Ayodele Soyinka.

Soyinka died in the early hours of Tuesday at his home in Kukumada Village, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Born in 1937, the scholar received a medical degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Heidelberg, 1964; and doctor of medicine (MD) degree from the same university in 1965. He specialised and practised as a dermatologist, venereologist and allergologist at the University of Giessen, 1969.

In 1972, he obtained a master of public health degree from Hadassah Medical School, (MPH) Israel.

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 the College of Health Sciences of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Soyinka was at the forefront of mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria by translating the outcomes of his research into clinical practice.

He initiated the Ambassador of Hope program in Nigeria, encouraging people living with HIV/AIDs (PLWHAs) to speak up, thereby bringing much-needed public awareness to the disease at a time when knowledge was low and stigma was high. He also demonstrated technical knowledge and was involved with many other HIV/AIDs-related programmes 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.

Soyinka is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The release added that burial arrangements would be announced later.

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