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Tim Menakaya, Nigeria’s former Minister of Health turns 90

By Ebuka Onyekwelu

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Dr. Tim Menakaya, Ide Umunya, former Nigeria’s Minister of Health on Monday, May 27th, marked his 90th year. Dr. Menakaya who was born on May 27th, 1934, reached the remarkable age of 90 years on Monday and was joined by family and friends to celebrate the special occasion.

The 90-year-old Dr. Menakaya received his training in medicine and surgery at the University of Bologna in Italy and later worked in Italy and the United Kingdom before his return to Nigeria. Till his foray into politics, he was a renowned medical practitioner in Onitsha, Anambra State where his hospital Manex, is still fully functional to date.

Upon Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, Dr. Menakaya was appointed the country’s first Minister of Health by President Olusegun Obasanjo. During his stint as Nigeria’s first civilian Minister of Health, Dr. Tim Menakaya raised malaria awareness and treatment to a remarkable extent. He also worked on Nigeria’s health insurance scheme, as well as began robust enlightenment on HIV/AIDS, among others.

Menakaya’s appointment as Minister of Health was on the strength of his relationship with President Obasanjo and his own avowed professional competence as a medical doctor.

Married to Barr. Ogo Tim-Menakaya, nee Okagbue, first daughter of Chief Chike Okagbue, foremost businessman and oil magnet; the marriage is blessed with kids.

As he marked his 90th birthday on Monday, Dr. Menakaya was joined by his wife Barr. Ogo, friends, including Chief Dan Chuke, former Minister of Defence, Chief Simon Okeke former Chairman, Police Service Commission, among many others, to commemorate the spectacular age of 90 years in good health.

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