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Merck Foundation connects Africa to Asia to build the Cancer and Fertility Care capacity in the two continents

  • Merck Foundation and Tata Memorial Centre(TMC) signed an MOU to build Cancer Care Capacity in Africa.

  • Through its partnership with TMC, Merck Foundation aims to provide one & two-year oncology fellowship training for African doctors.

  • Merck Foundation and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) signed MoU to train Embryologists from Africa and Asia, as part of “Merck more than a Mother”

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:

  • Merck Cancer Access Program:

Over 30 African physicians received oncology fellowship programmes spanning one to two years, in a bid to help increase the limited number of oncologists in Africa.

  • Merck More Than A Mother:

More than 50 candidates received training to be embryologists and fertility specialists in Africa and Asia to improve quality, regulated and safe fertility care in developing countries.

  • Merck Diabetes and Hypertension Awards:

Over 50 medical postgraduates will receive a in diabetes or preventive cardiovascular medicines, as part of the effort to establish a of diabetes and hypertension experts in Africa and Asia.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.

Media contact: Sakshi Tyagi

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About Merck Foundation The Merck Foundation (, established in 2017, is a philanthropic organization that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to innovative healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website. Please go to to read more and/or register online to interact and exchange experience with our registered members.

About Merck Merck ( is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2016, Merck generated sales of € 15.0 billion in 66 countries. Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.