MSH Saddened by the Passing of UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin

June 17, 2017

MSH Saddened by the Passing of UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin

Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin speaking at the London Summit on Family Planning. Photo credit: Russell Watkins/DFID

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) mourns the sudden passing of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). “Dr. Osotimehin was a tireless advocate for women, girls, and youth. MSH was proud to collaborate with him in Nigeria – partnering when he was Minister of Health to strengthen the country’s health system – and at UNPFA, standing beside him on the global stage advocating for the health, rights, and empowerment of women and girls,” said Marian W. Wentworth, MSH President & CEO. “Dr. Osotimehin was a fearless advocate for family planning, standing up for the rights of adolescent girls, and worked to end maternal deaths and gender-based violence. He was eloquent yet bold and a dynamic and visionary leader greatly admired and respected by all.”

Dr. Osotimehin worked for high-quality, equitable, dignified care for every woman, girl and adolescent. MSH was proud to partner with him and UNFPA, through a long-term strategic relationship established by the FCI Program of MSH, working together to make high-quality midwifery care available and accessible for every woman who needs it; to prevent obstetric fistula and make sure that its survivors get the life-changing care and treatment they need; to improve emergency obstetric care in remote rural communities; and to support grassroots community advocacy to hold governments accountable for fulfilling their communities to provide high-quality family planning, reproductive health, and maternal health care.

Dr. Osotimehin, a physician and public health expert, was UNFPA’s fourth Executive Director, with a ranking of United Nations Under-Secretary-General. Previously, he served as Nigeria’s Minister of Health and before that, Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, which coordinated HIV and AIDS work in Nigeria.

“He will be profoundly missed by all of us in the global health community,” said Wentworth. “We extend our deep sympathy to his family, many friends, and UNFPA colleagues.”