(FILES) This file photo taken on September 11, 2017 shows Tunisian health minister Slim Chaker (C) attending a parliamentary session in Tunis. Chaker, 56, died on October 8, 2017 after suffering a heart attack during a marathon organized for the benefit of a cancer-fighting association, the ministry said. FETHI BELAID / AFP
Tunisia’s health minister died of a heart attack on Sunday after taking part in a charity marathon to help battle cancer, officials said.
Slim Chaker, 56, fell ill after running some 500 metres (yards) and then making a speech at the start of a race in the coastal town of Nabeul aimed at raising funds to build a clinic for children with cancer, his ministry said.
He died later at a military hospital in Tunis.
“I have lost a brother and a colleague,” Prime Minister Youssef Chahed wrote on Facebook.
“He died doing a noble humanitarian act.”
Local media and internet users in the North African country reacted with sorrow to the passing of Chaker, a former adviser to President Beji Caid Essebsi who only took over the health brief last month.
“He has paid in blood for his patriotic work,” Tunisian magazine Leader wrote on Twitter.