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Nigeria’s Letter of Intent

Conquest - Spring 2007

The 5,000-mile trip to Nigeria was one Lovell Jones, Ph.D., was happy to make. It marked a first-of-its-kind, trans-Atlantic effort to address cancer disparities among Nigerian and Nigerian-American populations.

M. D. Anderson, the Health Disparities Education, Awareness, Research & Training Consortium and the Ministry of Health of the Federal Republic of Nigeria signed a Memorandum of Understanding, 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. A delegation from M. D. Anderson and other U.S. institutions joined with Nigeria’s medical community to discuss advances in cancer management, early detection and prevention of common cancers, and opportunities for creating public education and awareness-building campaigns.

“The Nigerian government’s commitment to raising awareness of cancer and addressing cancer issues in West Africa is a critical cornerstone to begin unraveling cancer and other health-related disparities, particularly diseases affecting Nigerians and African-Americans who share the same genetic heritage,” says Jones, director of M. D. Anderson’s Center for Research on Minority Health and professor in the 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 and Nigeria,” Jones adds.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center