M.D. Anderson collaborates with Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria

HOUSTON - In a first-of-its-kind trans-Atlantic effort to address cancer disparities among Nigerian and Nigerian-American populations, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Health Disparities Education, Awareness, Research & Training Consortium (HDEART) and the Ministry of Health of the Federal Republic of Nigeria today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), forming a partnership to collaborate on cancer research, education and training programs in Nigeria.

The agreement was the result of the first cancer conference held in Abuja, Nigeria during October 2006; one of several events marking Nigeria's first National Cancer Awareness Month (October). A delegation from M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and other US institutions, led by its Center for Research on Minority Health (CRMH), joined representatives from the Ministry of Health, National Hospital, the Nigerian Medical Community, Nigerian Medical Association (Abuja Branch), Nigerian Teaching and other Tertiary care hospitals and the Nigerian Cancer Society to discuss cancer management, early detection and prevention of common cancers, and public education and awareness-building campaigns.

"The Nigerian government's commitment to raising awareness of cancer and addressing cancer issues in West Africa, as evidence by the signing of the MOU, is a critical cornerstone event to begin unraveling cancer and other health-related disparities, particularly diseases affecting Nigerians and African-Americans who share the same genetic heritage," said Dr. Lovell Jones, Director of The Center for Research on Minority Health at M. D. Anderson's Department of Health Disparities Research.

With a large percentage of African-Americans tracing their ancestry to Nigeria and surrounding West African nations, and Houston serving as home to the largest population of Nigerians in the United States, there is "a natural share and learn partnership between M. D. Anderson, one

Contact: Claire Tyson
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

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