The U.S. Embassy, in partnership with Project PINK BLUE, kicked off medical training for 44 Nigerian clinical oncologists from August 13-25 at the African University of Science & Technology in Abuja. In Nigeria, cancer is increasingly recognized as a critical health problem with rising mortality rates despite many forms of cancer being preventable or treatable.
The training is part of the Upgrade Oncology initiative focused on strengthening oncology education, curricula, and especially cancer treatment in Nigeria. Two American medical oncologists are leading the training, Dr. Tracey O’Connor MD, associate professor at Rosswell Park Cancer Institute, and Dr. Mike Martin MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee. The project is led by Dr. M.O. Nwaneri MD, a medical oncologist and associate professor at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, PINK BLUE executive director Runcie C.W. Chidebe said “at the launch of Nigeria’s cancer plan 2018-2022, Minister of Health Professor Isaac F. Adewole passionately appealed to all Nigerians to support the government’s effort in cancer control. Upgrade Oncology is a response to this appeal.” The Embassy’s Acting Cultural Affairs Officer Malia Heroux commended the project saying, “I applaud the efforts of our exchange alumnus Runcie Chidebe in taking steps to support the implementation of the government’s national cancer control plan.”
The training curriculum was jointly developed by American and Nigerian oncologists and professors. The training will help improve cancer care and treatment across Nigeria.