Share a special moment from Adetokunbo's life.

Memorial Note - Prof. Michael Reich

Shared by Lola Dare on January 25, 2021
Professor Adetokunbo O. Lucas passed away peacefully on Christmas day at his home in Ibadan, Nigeria, at the age of 89.
Ade Lucas, as he was known to many outside Nigeria, had deep connections to Harvard.  His ties to Harvard began with a Masters degree in Hygiene in 1964, when he was also elected President of his Class. In 1983, he gave the commencement address at the School. In 1986, he received one of 20 Harvard Medals awarded on the 350th Anniversary of the University. In the early 1990s, he joined the School’s faculty as Professor of International Health for five years, when he served as director of the Harvard International Health Leadership Forum, a pathbreaking forum for Ministers of Health. I had the honor and pleasure of working with him regularly then. He continued as Adjunct Professor of International Health until his death. He stands as the School’s most illustrious graduate and faculty member from Africa. A truly great leader in public health globally.
Professor Lucas played a leadership role in many public health organizations during the latter half of the last century, in Africa, in Europe, in Asia, in the Americas; there are so many organizations, so many honors, it is impossible to list them all; I listed some on the slide, along with the cover from his autobiography.
For those of you who never met Professor Lucas, I would like to read the opening of his acceptance speech, when he received the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award in 2013. He started with these words,
“Who made you?” the teacher asked his class at Sunday School. “How come?
Which part? Explain yourself”, the teacher pressed.
“God made me and I was small but I grew the rest myself”
Like the little boy, I was small when I arrived in the world. Unlike the cheeky boy, I am not so presumptuous to think that I did it all on my own. I followed the good advice that George Bernard Shaw gave: ‘To be successful in life, one must choose one’s parents with care’. I chose the best couple; my mother who taught me to read and write and to play the piano; and my father, a teacher and a pastor who embraced scholarly academic work as his leisure pursuit.
For me and for many, every encounter with Professor Lucas was a memorable experience. His conversations and his lectures sparkled with wide-ranging knowledge, an extraordinary story-telling capacity, and a sharp but gentle wit, and above all moral integrity.
The world and Harvard have lost a remarkable humanitarian in global health, and a great friend and mentor for many, including me.

A tribute to Professor Adetokunbo Lucas

Shared by Chinedum Babalola on January 23, 2021

Although Professor Lucas' departure is painful, we thank God for the long and impactful life he lived. I have great memories of him and appreciate him for the wonderful opportunities he brought my way and his untiring support till death. Professor Adetokunbo Lucas, is one of the world’s leading tropical disease experts of his generation and many generations to come. His contributions have led to disease eradication.

Although a founding Fellow Nigerian Academy of Science, we both got inducted as Fellow of the Academy (FAS) in May 2011, and I was privileged to be seated next to him and right there I invited him to attend my inaugural lecture, slated a month away on 16th June 2011. I was again honoured to have him at that event and thereafter, he was quite impressed with the lecture and he became an automatic mentor and promoter of my career.

One rare assignment he gave me was to be the Book Reviewer for the book he and his friends wrote about a great physician Professor (Mrs.) Oyinade Olurin when she turned 80 in 2014 titled “OYINADE ODUTOLA-OLURIN: A RARE GEM. It was quite shocking to me because I was the least qualified to undertake this assignment but he would take No for an answer”.

He recommended me some prizes, worked very hard, spent long hours with me in his home and despite failing eyes, to ensure I won international prizes especially the Shaw prize based on my work on malaria and infectious disease.  I felt that these prizes were beyond my reach but he did not give up on me. He wanted me to take after him since he has won several international medals and he was proud to show me the list including -  the Mary Kingsley Medal of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Award of Merit, the Prince Mahidol Award for his global contributions to tropical disease research, and the Thai Grand Cross First Class for his good deeds in Thailand among several. My deep regret though is that by the time I won the African Union Regional Kwame Nkrumah prize in 2021 (something not near your desires and dreams for me), he was not fit enough to appreciate it and I kept postponing visiting him till he passed.

He shared almost every aspect of his life with me from family tree, his childhood, his schooling, his love for music and playing piano, his career within and outside Nigeria, his research in tropical diseases, his laurels, medals, prizes, recognitions, successes of his children and grandchildren. Finally was sharing and given me his autobiography titled - “It Was the Best of Times: From Local to Global Health.” which gives his perspective on the emergence of global health, as a participant on this change. He also did not fail to recount how his first year birthday in 1932 was cancelled due to attack of measles. He was glad to devote a chapter to the pharmaceutical Industry.

When he turned 85, he ensured I attended the regular lecture series in his honour at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife graced by the then Director General of NACA and other great scholars. He ensured I wrote a testimonial on him for a book compilation in His honour by  – Hallmarks of Labour Foundation (9th edition) in 2018.

To know who Professor Lucas is to know a celebrity in the area of global health, a distinguished personality and an accomplished individual. He is the definition of a distinguished person

I will miss him and I know his family will miss him most. But we thank God for the fruitful and impactful life he lived which traversed all the regions of the world. He lived well and died on Christmas day – the Day of our Lord.

May God comfort the wife, children, family, colleagues, well-wishers and all who mourn him.

Adieu Professor Adetokunbo Lucas

A tribute to a worthy mentor

Shared by Temitayo Adisa on January 23, 2021
A worthy mentor of mine has gone to be with the Lord!
My relationship with Grandpa and Grandma dates back to 2009 when I was a beneficiary of the Olufunto Lucas award for the best graduating student in Mathematics at the International School, University of Ibadan, an institution which their late daughter, Olufunto attended.
The prize was a brand new Toshiba Laptop which served me throughout my University days.
Since then, Grandpa and Grandma Lucas have taken so much interest me. Grandpa being a Professor of Medicine and a worthy mentor took it upon himself to monitor my progress when I was admitted to study Medicine and Surgery at the University of Ibadan. Grandpa always had autographed books to give me as gifts all the times I visited them- including the public health textbook I used while in Medical school and his autobiography, among various journals of Public Health which I still have till date.
I  recall with nostalgia the last time Grandpa and Grandma were at my home in Ibadan in 2017. They felt relaxed with us and spent tine talking about various issues. They also left gifts for my parents and siblings.
My solace is that Grandpa lived an excellent life worthy of emulation and that he was well advanced in age before his glorious exit.
I thank God everyday for you and the positive impact you have made in my life. You have taught me to be very humble and altruistic. I am just sad that you didn't get to be at my wedding before you left us.
Rest in perfect peace Grandpa.
Temitayo Adisa


Shared by Dayo Akinlade on January 22, 2021
"AOL was not just my teacher and mentor. He was my big brother, my big “egbon”. He was also my friend. He has played a pivotal role in my life."

"On behalf of my beloved Bayo and myself, I thank you also for your love for our family. We love you dearly and we will sorely miss you. I am thankful that you have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7), and you did it all with great distinction. After life’s fitful fever, you deserve your rest. Sleep well my dear egbon. Take your well-deserved rest in peace, in the bosom of your maker, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen."

Tribute from Don Hopkins - Carter Centre

Shared by Lola Dare on January 17, 2021

'The world is a much poorer place without Ade Lucas' intellect, compassion and joyful humour.  I always look forward to welcoming him to the meetings of our International Task Force on Disease at the Carter Centre and I benefited from his encouragement on Guinea worm eradication. Since learning of his passing, I have looked and marvelled again at the wonderful autobiography he left his family and the world.  I shall miss him very much'

Letter from Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York

Shared by Dayo Akinlade on January 15, 2021
"He was a brilliant intellectual, a groundbreaking researcher and above all a wonderful human being."

Obituary - Legacy - Powered by The New York Times

Shared by Lola Dare on January 15, 2021
LUCAS--Dr. Adetokunbo O., age 89, global leader in tropical diseases, died Christmas Day at home in Ibadan, Nigeria. Born in Nigeria, he was educated in Nigeria, UK and US. Among leadership positions, he was chair, Department Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; pioneering director, WHO's Tropical Disease Program, Geneva; first chair, Developing Countries Program, Carnegie Corporation of New York; and Professor of International Health, Harvard. His many honors include the Harvard Medal and Thailand's Prince Mahidol Award. He leaves his beloved wife, adored three children and six cherished grandchildren. One dear child predeceased him. The world has lost a remarkable humanitarian and great friend.

Keeping the Living Well - Sue Tyrell interviews Prof. Adetokunbo Lucas

Shared by Lola Dare on January 15, 2021
“My question was: ‘Why be specialists in the resuscitation of the dead, if we can keep the living well?’”

Tribute - Tropical Health Matters

Shared by Lola Dare on January 15, 2021
“There can be no question about Prof Lucas being a distinguished teacher of many students was who have become distinguished in their own rights. He was a global leader in Medical Research that has impacted many populations, especially in Africa. The footprints are notable and impactful.”

The Royal Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene: In Memoriam: Prof. Adetokunbo Lucas (1931-2020)

Shared by Lola Dare on January 15, 2021
Professor Lucas energised tropical medicine
His was an inspired appointment and through his vision of how the programme needed to be developed and focused on the major parasitic diseases of the impoverished world, he energised tropical medicine and in particular the leadership required from WHO.

Obituary - London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medici

Shared by Lola Dare on January 15, 2021
His connections to LSHTM were many. He spent the period October 1959 to February 1960 completing our School’s course in tropical medicine; he was Heath Clarke lecturer in 1978, awarded LSHTM’s honorary fellowship in 1983, and was the honorary president of the alumni association between 1991 and 2002. The Lucas room in our Keppel St building was named in his honour in 2004.


Shared by Lola Dare on January 11, 2021
Well before I met Professor Lucas, I had read and heard so much about him. Anytime, I read about WHO in the news, I always thought we were being well represented. Our first meeting was at a University of Ibadan retreat. We were all holed up for 3 days. The purpose was related to the UI visioning process and strategic plan. Before starting my paper, I gave an anecdote about life. During the break time, he wanted to know more of what I was trying to convey. We exchanged phone numbers and I promised to visit him in Ibadan. I visited as promised, and while waiting for what I thought would be a round of drinks, he excused himself. He went to his room and arrived with a projector. He requested for one hour of my time. He gave me a lecture on life with slides. The lecture related to everything under the sun – healthcare, philosophy, religion, gender and several other genres. I saw life as interdependent and all weaved into one. It occurred to me that life was so simple, yet so tough. It was an eye opening experience. After that, we had drinks with him regaling me with his early career life and several jokes - all bringing a window on the world. He made such an impression on me. I was grateful to have met an educated man with an educated mind. May his gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.

Professor Ayodeji Oluleye

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene pay tribute to Prof. A.O. Lucas

Shared by Lola Dare on January 5, 2021
"The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene through the efforts of President Julie Jacobson, Secretary/Treasurer David Hill, CEO Karen Goralski, Senior Manager, Communications, Doug Dusik, and and former President Joseph Cook, published this tribute to Dr. Lucas, ASTMH Honorary Member and Fellow, cherished colleague, and dear friend. 
"Ade Lucas was a mentor, colleague, friend and occasional co-conspirator," said President Julie Jacobson, MD, DTM&H. "I will always remember his continuously hungry mind exploring new technologies and talents throughout his lifetime. Just when you thought he wasn’t paying attention he would add a comment, bringing conversations and debates around to interesting forgotten facts or adages to make you think deeper than the current crisis to the bigger issue at hand. I will miss his council and his wit."

The Society mourns the loss of longtime member and Honorary International Fellow Adetokunbo O. Lucas, MD, a pioneering director of the UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, among other accomplishments. Dr. Lucas passed away December 25, 2020, at age 89.

"Ade Lucas was a mentor, colleague, friend and occasional co-conspirator," said President Julie Jacobson, MD, DTM&H. "I will always remember his continuously hungry mind exploring new technologies and talents throughout his lifetime. Just when you thought he wasn’t paying attention he would add a comment, bringing conversations and debates around to interesting forgotten facts or adages to make you think deeper than the current crisis to the bigger issue at hand. I will miss his council and his wit."   

His notable career also included Professor of International Health at Harvard University; the first Nigerian Head of the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria; and the first chair of the Strengthening Human Resources in Developing Countries Program at Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Dr. Lucas had been a member of ASTMH since 1965. In 1987, he was named an Honororary International Fellow (now Distiguished Internatioal Fellow) of the Society.

Longtme ASTMH member Patricia Rosenfield, PhD, who worked with him at WHO and Carnegie, and Prof. Michael R Reich, a close colleague of his at Harvard, prepared the following obituary:

Adetokunbo O. Lucas, MD

Dr. Adetokunbo O. Lucas, the world’s leading tropical disease expert, passed away peacefully on Christmas day at his home in Ibadan, Nigeria.  Born in Nigeria on November 25, 1931 into a distinguished academic and religious leadership family, he was educated in Nigeria, the UK, and the U.S.  A Rockefeller Foundation fellowship took him in the 1950s to study at Harvard University, USA, where years later he became Professor of International Health.  He blazed new pathways in academic and international leadership as well as in clinical medicine, public health, and global health policy.  

Dr. Lucas was the first Nigerian Head of the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, conducting pathbreaking work on meningitis, malaria, schistosomiasis, and other tropical diseases.  At the WHO, he served as pioneering director for 10 years of the UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases.  Under his leadership, new forms of therapy were developed, still in use today, for malaria, river blindness, elephantiasis, sleeping sickness, schistosomiasis, and leprosy as well as new approaches in social, economic, and epidemiological research.  There, he initiated the innovative public-private partnership, starting with Merck Corporation, to use ivermectin to treat river blindness.  

At Carnegie Corporation of New York he became the first chair of the Strengthening Human Resources in Developing Countries Program.  Amongst his many innovative partnership building grants, with Columbia University and universities across West Africa, he launched the Prevention of Maternal Mortality Program to save women's lives across Africa, and then, in support of WHO's Safe Motherhood Initiative, globally.  He served as senior global health advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carter Center.  Populations around the world still benefit from his legacy.  

He received innumerable honorary degrees, academic awards and recognition from professional organizations, including: one of 20 Harvard University Medals at its 350th Anniversary celebration;  the first Ademola Award for his outstanding contributions to tropical disease research;  Honorary Fellow of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which also established a lecture room in his honor; the Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter Humanitarian Award; the Prince Mahidol Award for his global contributions to tropical disease research; and the "Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn" for his good deeds in Thailand.

In the recent book, Disease Fighters since 1950, he was highlighted as one of the 12 greatest fighters for worldwide health in our time.  In addition, Dr. Lucas was known to his friends around the world as a delightful human, with an infectious sense of humor and the ability to tell the right humorous story and jokes at just the right occasion.  He became a master organist in his 50s, sharing the joy of music with family and friends.  He treasured most his titles of husband, father, and grandfather.  He leaves behind his beloved wife and best friend of 62 years, Kofo, and his adored children, daughter Dayo, sons Funlade and Ladipo, their spouses, and six cherished grandchildren.  His dear daughter Funto predeceased him.  The world has lost a great humanitarian in global health, and for so many, a dear friend and mentor. 

(Rosenfield/Reich. 12/27/20)

Tribute to Prof. Adetokunbo Olumide Oluwole Lucas from Rev. Canon Babajide Lucas

Shared by Lola Dare on January 5, 2021
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day…’ 2 Timothy 4:7-8

‘Emi ti jà ìja rere, emi ti pari ire-ije mi, emi ti pa igbagbọ́ mọ́: Lati isisiyi lọ a fi ade ododo lelẹ fun mi, ti Oluwa, onidajọ ododo, yio fifun mi li ọjọ na…’ 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (Yoruba language version)

Professor Adetokunbo Olumide Oluwole LUCAS was of a super-giant status in academia, particularly in Medical Science. He was so recognized internationally, even much more than he was in Nigeria. This tribute is limited to just a few dimensions, with examples also very limited to one or two out of several available to me.

His academic prowess was noticeable even from his elementary and secondary school performances. At age 11, he was one of the 25 candidates who passed the entrance examination to King’s College, Lagos out of 1,400 applicants from 11 centres within Nigeria. In his case, he also won a tuition-free scholarship.

At King’s College, his brilliance continued, scoring distinctions in most of the subjects he took in Cambridge School Certificate. He was particularly proud of his distinction score in Latin. His brilliant success attracted the attention and verbal onslaught of some Fake News Manufacturers (F.N.M.) who attributed his results to undue influence by his father, Venerable Dr. J. Olumide Lucas who was the manager of Breadfruit School and also the local representative of Cambridge Overseas School Certificate Examination in Lagos, said to have leaked the questions to his son. I recall Adetokunbo’s thanksgiving service and reception on his return from U.K., with a bag full of academic and professional qualifications, awards and prizes, including first class honours in B.Sc. Physiology, prizes for highest scores in the final examinations in Medicine and Surgery etc. One of the F.N.M. was there, grinning, but unable to fabricate any reason Adetokunbo’s brilliance was also endorsed in the world’s first rate universities. As the family rejoiced in 1965 when the University of Ibadan appointed Adetokunbo as Professor in the then Faculty of Medicine, my thought again brought up the action of the F.N.M. wondering whether they can also formulate how Adetokunbo’s father has been able to influence the University’s Appointment/Promotion Committee and also the three External Assessors from other top Universities outside Nigeria.

His being ever-ready to help others is another dimension for this tribute. I had earlier thought this action of his was limited to me and a few close relations. I later found that that was not so. To cite some examples of this to myself; there was the period of fake drugs proliferation in Nigeria. I had duly prescribed drugs that I needed to take daily. He offered to take the prescriptions as they were available and purchase these abroad during his numerous overseas visits, giving the drugs to me free of charge. I therefore knew that God was using him to sustain my life and good health in that wise. Also, well before small sized computers came into use in Nigeria, he purchased and gave me, free of charge ZX SPECTRUM computer and its booklet which I still have. He, a medical scientist, mastered its use and taught me an Engineer in academia, its use. I then stopped going to the computer centre of the University of Ibadan which had one as big as a small room. In his own case, he so went further in Computer Programming that he wrote an article which was accepted and published in an academic journal abroad. I recall also his purchasing and giving to me some clerical robes/accessories from the topmost shops in London, as I was ordained in the holy orders. I then became the cynosure of the eyes of my colleagues, priests, seeing me in top fashion clerical robes. That was one of the presents for my ordination. Others were valuable books which yet I have in library.

Almost faultless in preparation for important events, is yet another dimension. I recall his delivering his inaugural lecture? (university lecture?) That was at a time electricity supply was not as erratic as now. As he marshaled his points during the lecture, electricity failed, but, he continued, obviously knowing off head the subject, but also brought out from his pocket, a powerful torchlight for his use. There was thunderous applause from his audience.

Another dimension was his love for his mother-tongue, Yoruba. He collected speeches and proverbs in Yoruba, and stored these in tapes, these speeches being from highly recognized Yoruba speakers, including one well-known politician.

His love for music and playing pipe organs is unique. Yet, he was learning from someone when he was in Geneva. I visited him there once and wondered why he, an expert was learning from anyone. He told me that his tutor was a world renowned organist usually invited in many countries to give organ recitals. Even as his health waned, he yet continued to play the pipe organ.

He was humble almost to a fault. In his autobiography, he wrote that he failed his first attempt to gain admission to King’s College. He did not mention that he took the examination one or two years before he should be due to take the entrance examination (in Class V or VI).

Also, he mentioned his failing the entrance examination to the University of Ibadan. But we learnt from the grape-vine that he much preferred going to long-established highly rated medical schools abroad. He so succeeded. I find him usually introducing himself as Adetokunbo Lucas. Once as he so did, the person to whom he was introducing himself exclaimed: Hah! You are the foremost Professor of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Ibadan!

It is most important for me to mention that I saw him as a firm believer in the LORD JESUS CHRIST, not only in his words but also in his actions. Not all children of clerics so do. In his own case, he maintained a firm family tradition and heritage of being a good Christian. His father was the Archdeacon of Lagos, Lagos Archdeaconry then, now split into quite a few dioceses. His maternal grandfather was a Bishop in the Anglican Communion. Despite his faith in CHRIST, he yet maintained good relationship with muslim colleagues, as enjoined in Romans 12:18

as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men

I cannot judge; judgment belongs to the LORD JESUS CHRIST at HIS 2nd coming. But we may hold opinions, based on our knowledge and experiences, limited as these are. With these in mind, I believe that the inspired words of GOD through Apostle Paul about himself to Timothy shall be fulfilled also in Adetokunbo Olumide Oluwole LUCAS, that

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day…’ 2 Timothy 4:7-8

‘Emi ti jà ìja rere, emi ti pari ire-ije mi, emi ti pa igbagbọ́ mọ́: Lati isisiyi lọ a fi ade ododo lelẹ fun mi, ti Oluwa, onidajọ ododo, yio fifun mi li ọjọ na…’ 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (Yoruba language version)

A tribute to a great teacher from Prof. Uche Amazigo

Shared by Lola Dare on January 2, 2021
A tribute to a great teacher, mentor and friend – Professor Adetokunbo Lucas
Lord, help me to live from day to day. In such a self-forgetful way. That, even when I kneel to pray, My prayer shall be for – ‘Others’. Charles D. Meigs {1890-1902}
Our teacher and mentor spent a lifetime not for self, but, for ‘others’.

Professor Adetokunbo Lucas, the husband of Mrs. Kofo Lucas, father and grandfather was a noble man who spent a lifetime living, not for himself, but, for others. Our Creator bestowed on him the rarest attributes of wisdom and intelligence. His humility was matchless!

True to his God-given gift, Professor Adetokunbo Lucas spent his lifetime building opportunities to educate, train, and lift others up – young and old alike! With, a rare generous heart, he accomplished this through the many African and non-African scientists who he interacted with, mentored, and provided strategic wings to fly on. Professor Lucas was a man who lived by the power of his example, which, was beyond boundaries - simply limitless!

An unassuming, renowned scientist and teacher, who generously shared knowledge, cultivated confidence in his students and mentees to ensure excellence in all. Professor Lucas took great delight in the achievements of those he worked with or mentored. In his autobiography, “ It was the Best of Times: from Global to Local” he celebrated ‘others’ achievements which, could not have been without him. Truly, the history of global health and it’s leadership cannot be complete without a section on Adetokunbo Lucas.

Almost second nature, yet, relentlessly, Professor Lucas monitored the progress of his students and mentees. Effortlessly, he provided strategic references to, and for all. To many of us who had the privilege to interact with him, he was the iconic archive of national and international historical health events. To the Harvard Takemi Program Class of 1991- 1992, he was simply the greatest teacher!

As a renowned and problem-solving humanist, Professor Lucas, provided assistance to mentees always with his life’s philosophy, “Do not let us down”. How could we? Certainly not, not when you left that broad shoulder and the bridge for many of us to stand on. That, is your legacy!. In your memory, we light two candles – one to bid you farewell, the second will continue to live this legacy.

Adieu great teacher, friend, mentor par excellence, a truly quintessential man, I remain forever grateful.

Professor Uche Amazigo, FAS Prince Mahidol Laureate in Public Health

The Exit of an International Icon from Prof. Olabode Lucas

Shared by Lola Dare on January 3, 2021
The late Professor Adetokunbo Olumide Oluwole Lucas  (1931-2020) was my first cousin and I thank God for bringing me in close contact with this academic giant and intellectual colossus, who despite his wide international outreach was a quintessential family man. I first heard about this great man who many in the family referred to as Papa Funlade or simply Professor early In 1960. His late father, Venerable (Dr.)  J. Olumide Lucas who was my father's brother visited us at Ilesa and told my father about the progress of his son thus:
"Tokunbo will soon be coming home to start work at the University College Hospital. Sir Kofo Abayomi is very happy about this, because according to him our people are gradually taking over from the white people."
It was three years later in 1963 after this discussion, that I had the opportunity of seeing the legend himself for the first time. It was during the burial ceremony of the matriarch of the Lucas clan, Mrs Catherine Abiola Lucas our grandmother. Unfortunately, I was too shy to approach him and introduce myself to him at that time. He was ever smiling to everybody and very noticeable in his unique "Abeti-Aja" traditional Yoruba cap.

It was not until 1966, that I started interacting with my departed cousin closely when I entered the University of Ibadan, where he was already an established Professor. During my student days at the University of Ibadan, Papa  Funlade  as I then started referring to him was my financial pillar whose generosity wiped away my impecunious state. This was a critical period in my life, and I will forever remember him for the freshly minted one pound note he always gave me anytime I visited him  on the campus. Again, listening  to his collections of recorded tapes of events during the tempestuous stage in our national history in the sixties  was a delight. Radio broadcasts by political and military actors of those days were meticulously recorded by him. I wonder how many radio stations would have in their archives the number of such momentous tape  recordings in possession of the late Professor.

Papa Funlade's interest in my well being extended beyond my time at the University of Ibadan. He and his family visited me regularly when I was in Benin-City between 1969 and 1978. He visited me in London when I was doing my postgraduates studies in England. He also contacted me regularly from Washington and Boston when I was in Ontario, Canada and South Africa. I was always in his radar anywhere I was in the world. The love Papa Funlade had for me and my family intensified when I relocated to Ibadan from Benin-City in 1978. Even though he was outside the country during this period, he never failed to see me and my family anytime he was in the country even when I was living in faraway Owode Estate with its attendant traffic gridlock.

Papa Funlade radiated love and generosity to every member of Lucas clan  and myself and members of my family are beneficiaries. In his lifetime, Papa  Funlade extended  helping hand to many members of Lucas clan and people outside the clan to successfully climb the ladder of life and make successes of their lives. In 2009 , he was unanimously elected by members of the clan as the Olori-Ebi, the post he occupied with characteristic love and generosity to all and sundry until he died. Papa Funlade was a philanthropist par excellence who helped people with a smile and penetrating sense of humour.

Papa Funlade brought pride to the Lucas clan as an International medical expert in Public Health recognized all over the world. The reputation of our clan as a family that cherishes education stemmed majorly from his achievements in the field of learning. It was usual for people who knew my connection with him to quip thus: "hope you are as brilliant as your brother of PSM?"  My departed cousin brought pride to Nigeria and black race through his work at the University of Ibadan, at World Health Organization Geneva, at Carnegie Corporation in Washington, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine England, Harvard University, Boston USA, Carter Centre in Atlanta Georgia, and in the Royal Kingdom of Thailand where he was the first and only African to be Knighted by the King of Thailand. One cannot but refer in this tribute to his intimidating arrays of medals , prizes, honorary degrees and other awards garnered all over the globe. Equally noteworthy,  was his membership of numerous professional bodies  related to Medicine, Arts and Science.  Despite his towering image in the medical field, my departed cousin  showed his versatility by being very adept in Yoruba Language especially the proverbs. His  feat at the university of Ibadan as the first Fellow of University (FUI) in 1995 gave me tremendous pride as his relation who was also a member of Staff of the University.

In his autobiography titled "It Was The Best of Time" published in 2010, my erudite cousin wrote about his impactful life as follows:
".......'so far so good.' It has been good , sometimes very good. Now sitting in the departure lounge of life, ready to board when my flight is called, the overwhelming feeling is one of contentment." (Page 13).
Yes, Cousin Tokunbo, your life had been very good, glory be to God and as you finally left the departure lounge to go and meet your maker, you should feel contented that  in your exemplary life, you had left the world better than you met it. Like Julius Caesar,  ' you came, you saw and you conquered (Veni, Vidi, Vici).
Adieu, the global Icon in Public Health, your spirit lives on, as you had certainly lifted humanity from debilitating infectious diseases through your prodigious achievements in your chosen profession of Public Health.


Homage to a Great Nigerian and Role Model - Tribute from Hallmarks of Labour Foundation

Shared by Dayo Akinlade on January 2, 2021
By Patricia Otuedon-Arawore 
"Death invaded the world of health care and snatched away our most accomplished Medical Doctor, Teacher, Scientist, International Health Authority and Administrator, Professor Adetokunbo ‘Ade’ Lucas.

"I was captivated by his humility and gentle voice. He carried his achievements rather lightly and with such refreshing dignity so rare to find these days."

As we mourn his passing to glory, we must remember that Professor Lucas has given his best; produced and mentored many of the best public health practitioners in Nigeria and across the world. As an impeccable Role Model, he has replicated himself several times over, to the benefit of the Medical profession and human society at large."

"Professor Adetokunbo Lucas has also left indelible marks in the field of Medicine and bold footprints on the sands of time."

Letter from Former US President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Carter

Shared by Dayo Akinlade on January 2, 2021
"Rosalynn and I are saddened by the passing of our friend Dr. Adetokunbo Lucas. Dr. Lucas has been a titan among public health professionals ..."
"Because of his efforts, he left this world a much better place than he found it."
"Throughout his productive life, Dr. Lucas has been a blessing to countless people, and we are proud to be among those whose lives have been personally touched by this remarkable man."

Harvard School of Public Health mourns Prof. Adetokunbo O. Lucas

Shared by Lola Dare on December 31, 2020

Sleep on Great Icon

Shared by Olutayo Abiona on December 31, 2020
May your soul rest in perfect peace

President Buhari mourns Prof. Adetokunbo Lucas

Shared by Lola Dare on December 29, 2020
“Nigeria, indeed the world has lost an expert in public health,” President Muhammadu Buhari said on receiving the news of the passing of Professor Adetokunbo Oluwole Lucas, OFR, at the age of 89.

The President commiserates with the family, friends, medical community and academia over the passage of the global health leader for Africa and award winner for his outstanding support for research on tropical diseases especially malaria, bilharzia and leprosy.

Dr. Abiola Tilley-Gyado mourns Prof. Adetokunbo Lucas

Shared by Lola Dare on December 28, 2020
Professor Adetokunbo O Lucas. Thank You very much sir for introducing me to Public Health and sustaining my interest with the next generation of Public Health advocates like Lola Dare. Even as you sail to meet your Maker your work will testify for The King of all Kings to Gather you into His Bosom. I stand proud to have been taught and mentored by 3 well versed and respectable Physicians. Prof Adetokunbo Lucas , Prof Olikoye Ransome-Kuti and Prof David Morley. May The Almighty Lord Grant each of them a sweet repose                                       

College of Medicine, University of Ibadan mourns Prof Adetokunbo Lucas

Shared by Lola Dare on December 28, 2020
Professor Adetokunbo O. Lucas (known in international circles as ‘Ade’) had returned to Nigeria after obtaining the Diploma in Public Health and Membership of the Royal College of Physicians in 1959 and was appointed by the University College Hospital to the position of Senior Registrar in Medicine. A couple of years later, he was called to a rescue mission in the Department of Preventive & Social Medicine and that became his passion and the foundation of his lifetime work in epidemiology and public health. He was a major personality in international health for several decades and occupied many strategic positions, including being President of the International Epidemiological Association in 1971. He has contributed significantly to the capacity building and human resource development for public health globally. His scholarship was invaluable in unearthing the knowledge behind the fight against numerous tropical diseases, especially malaria, onchocerciasis and schistosomiasis. He became the pioneer Director of the World Health Organisation Tropical Disease Research (TDR) programme in 1976. His contributions to the fight against maternal mortality earned him the honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists of the United Kingdom. He was one of the 20 recipients of the Harvard Medal, an award that is made only once every 50 years, in 1986. Indeed, an academic colossus has departed from our midst. A memorial website has been created. Kindly visit this link to leave your tributes, photographs and other memories:

Thank you.

Olayinka O. Omigbodun, FAS, FNAMed
Professor of Psychiatry and Provost

Ade Lucas - from Professor Francis Omaswa

Shared by Lola Dare on December 28, 2020
Ade belongs to a generation of African Health leaders who took over leadership for Health after Africa got independence. He made his contribution with excellence that has inspired we who followed them.
Personally he encouraged me to launch ACHEST and visited Kampala several times to serve on the founding Board of Directors.
Ade was fun to have around with a mind that simplified complex concepts with humour. His legacy lives for ever. May the Lord God Rest his soul in Eternal peace.

Professor Francis Omaswa, Kampala, Uganda. 28th December 2020

Professor Ade Lucas - from Professor Phyllis Kanki

Shared by PHYLLIS KANKI on December 27, 2020
I join the global community of students, friends and colleagues in mourning the passing of our dear Professor Ade Lucas.  I was fortunate to benefit from his wisdom as the chair of our advisory council to the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria program at Harvard.  He continued to shepherd our project as it evolved into APIN LLC and then APIN Public Health Initiatives, a significant Nigerian stakeholder in public health.  Ade was a global public health visionary and unwavering in his commitment to health, especially for Nigeria.   Over the many years, I am grateful for his patient counsel, sly wit, and generous and kind leadership.  Prof, you will be greatly missed.

'Ade Lucas - One of a kind' from Prof. Lincoln Chen, China Medical Board

Shared by Lola Dare on December 27, 2020
Thanks Michael, and Lola!
Ade’s passing is sad indeed.  He was a giant in tropical medicine and public health, fll of wisdom which he shared with diplomacy.  His autobiography is a testament to his recall/memory (he even remembered names of his school teachers and the precise lay-out of his schools!).
I had the honor of reviewing his autobiography in Lancet.

Ade Lucas a one of a kind.  As the saying goes, they don’t make them like that anymore!!!


'From Tropical Medicine to Global Health - Ade's Journey' from Prof. Lincoln Chen

Shared by Lola Dare on December 27, 2020
Julio Frenk and Michael Reich have emailed me about Ade’s passing.  They are grieving like the rest of us.
I sent them my Lancet review of Ade’s autography, where he says in the conclusion ““Now sitting in the departure lounge of life, ready to board when my flight is called, the overwhelming feeling is one of far so good, sometimes very good!”

Best in remembrance (and admiration) of Ade!


Copy of Lancet publication below

Tribute by Dr. Oluwole Odutolu Chairman Board of APIN Public Health Gte

Shared by Oluwole ODUTOLU on December 26, 2020
Our country and the global health community lost an intellectual giant, a consummate Public Health expert and a complete gentleman. He rode the public health sphere as a colossus and his outstanding contributions are legendary. I read his book as a student and his name as sort of household name in Nigeria. But I came in close contact with him two decades ago while he was the Chair of the Harvard APIN Advisory Council. He transited into being a trustee/member of the organization when APIN became a Nigerian organization. He served in the position till early 2019.   We learnt a lot from his leadership style, his vast knowledge and benefited from his global network. He always stood for common good, he was frank and kind.He will be missed for his love of Nigeria and the health of Nigerians . Adieu Prof

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