Merck connects Africa to Asia for cancer and fertility care

merckThe philanthropic arm of Merck, the Merck Foundation commits to building cancer care capacity in Africa and Asia through its partnership with India. This initiative is a part of the foundation’s Merck Cancer Access Programme, initiated to increase the limited number of oncologists across Africa.

In May, the foundation signed an MOU with the Tata Memorial centre, a premier cancer centre in India, to provide a fellowship programme to candidates from Africa.

Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation, comments: ‘We are delighted to formalise our collaboration with the Tata Memorial centre under the umbrella of newly launched Merck Foundation. We started our collaboration in 2016. Since then, we have provided more than 30 African doctors with one-year oncology fellowship at the Tata Memorial Centre. We believe our partnership with India has a long way to go and together we can play a vital role in Africa and Asia. The Merck Foundation strongly believes building capacity is the right strategy to improve cancer care since a lack of professional skills is a key challenge in Africa and other developing countries.’

Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) is also a partner of the MoU to provide an embryology training programme for Africa and Asia. As a result, the Merck Foundation – through its Merck More Than a Mother campaign – launched the Merck Embryology Training Programme in partnership with the MAHE. This training involves a certified course in assistive reproduction and embryology.

‘We are pleased to partner with the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in India to provide hands-on practical training to develop a platform for embryologists in Africa and Asia. This will help increase the number of standalone embryologists and improve access to cost-effective fertility care in developing countries where the lack of trained and skilled health personnel is a main challenge,’ Dr Kelej adds.

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