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Einstein Researchers Forge a Unique Collaboration in Nigeria

The challenges of conducting research in a developing nation can be numerous — from political instability that can delays projects for months to collaborators who can only use Internet at night or frequent lack of electricity that can last days. In spite of such challenges, Einstein researchers Drs. David LounsburyIlir Agalliu and Adebola Adedimeji have focused on the benefits that an international collaboration can offer as they embark on a unique research project in Nigeria.

Before coming to Einstein in 2008, Lounsbury, assistant professor of epidemiology & population health and of family and social medicine, had the opportunity to meet Dr. Chioma Asuzu, a clinical psycho-oncologist from the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Nigeria. While working together for several months at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the two researchers discussed the health woes in Nigeria, particularly issues surrounding the high prevalence of prostate cancer in Nigerian men and the poor five-year survival rate of less than 40 percent. Through their discussions, they realized there were many cross-cultural issues between their nations and that much could be gained by working together.

Within a year of their meeting, Lounsbury joined Einstein to work on community-focused cancer prevention and control, giving him the opportunity to observe how health challenges in the Bronx related to similar difficulties in Ibadan.

“I learned how the public health models we’re trying to improve in under-served communities in the Bronx are not so removed from day-to-day challenges in Ibadan. Poverty is poverty, and it impacts health as well as the ways in which healthcare institutions can be responsive to the needs of the population.” Read more at Einstein News