By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany commits to building Cancer care capacity in Africa and Asia through its partnership with India. This initiative is a part of Merck Foundation’s ‘Merck Cancer Access Program’ that has been initiated by the Merck Foundation to increase the limited number of oncologists across Africa.
The Foundation signed an MOU with the Tata Memorial centre a premier cancer centre in India, to provide fellowship program to Africa candidates.
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation said,” We are delighted to formalize today our collaboration with the Tata Memorial centre under the umbrella of newly launched Merck Foundation. We have started our collaboration in 2016, during these two years, we have provided more than 30 African doctors with one-year oncology fellowship at Tata Memorial Centre.We believe that our partnership with India has a long way to go and together we can play a vital role in Africa and Asia.”
“Merck foundation strongly believe that building capacity is the right strategy to improve cancer care since lack of professional skills is the key challenge in Africa and developing countries.” Dr. Rasha Kelej added.
During the signing of MOU with Manipal Academy of Higher Education, to partner in providing embryology training program for Africa and Asia. Merck Foundation in partnership with MAHE launched Merck Embryology Training Program, a certified course in Assistive Reproduction and Embryology through its ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign.
During the event Dr. Rasha Kelej stated that, “We are pleased to partner with the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in India to provide hands-on practical training to develop embryologists’ platform in Africa and Asia to increase the number of standalone embryologists, and to improve the access to cost-effective fertility care in the developing countries, since the lack of trained and skilled health personnel is the main challenge in Africa and Asia.”
In 2017 alone, MF initiated the following activities in partnership with academia, ministries of health and the offices of First Ladies in more than 35 countries.