HBCU’s Meharry Medical College and the Morehouse School of Medicine recently formed a partnership with the University of Zambia to develop an international exchange program focused on disease research and prevention.
University officials said the program will focus on seven core areas of health, including HIV and AIDS, cancer, HPV, late-onset diabetes, hypertension, infectious disease, and malnutrition.
In a press statement, Meharry President James Hildreth said that in today’s global society the Nashville medical school’s mission is no longer contained to borders or city limits. He said the partnership is an important step in serving the underserved, no matter where they live.
The three institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop the partnership through which students and faculty at the graduate and doctorate levels will participate in an exchange program centered on seven core areas of health science, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, HPV, late-onset diabetes, hypertension, infectious disease, and malnutrition. The exchange program will begin in the fall of 2018.
“This partnership is very exciting and important for Meharry,” said Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, President of Meharry Medical College. “The opportunity to work in collaboration with the University of Zambia and Morehouse expands the academic, clinical and research horizons of our students and faculty to a foreign continent, culture and people. In today’s global society, Meharry’s mission is no longer contained to borders or city limits. We must serve the underserved wherever they live in the world and this partnership is an important step forward in that direction.”
Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, president and dean of Morehouse, echoed Hildreth’s excitement over the partnership.
“This agreement between three like-minded organizations promises to accelerate treatment and care options for AIDS, diabetes, cancer and other disease states that plague the people of America and Africa,” Rice said. “By collaborating more closely we can impact more fully the lives of the people we serve.”
The agreement is an outgrowth of a 2015 partnership between Meharry and Morehouse, both Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), which focused on AIDS education and training in the Southeastern United States. The two colleges had longstanding links to the University of Zambia since Dr. Hildreth and Dr. Montgomery Rice visited 10 years ago when they were both members of the faculty at Meharry. There they met Dr. Esther M. Nkandu, Dean of the University of Zambia’s School of Health Sciences, with whom they recently forged the three-way partnership.
“The opportunity to integrate the educational and research expertise of both Meharry Medical College and Morehouse School of Medicine with that of the University of Zambia is quite historic,” said Prof Luke Mumba, Vice Chancellor, University of Zambia. “The three institutions are working in our separate communities to address some of the world’s most vexing health problems, from AIDS to cancer. It is exciting to imagine how much stronger we will be now that we are working more closely on these issues together.”