Merck Foundation CEO News updates

NAIROBI, NAIROBI, KENYA, September 25, 2018 / -- “Proud to meet The President of Senegal, H.E. MACKY SALL to discuss Merck Foundation’s strong and long-term commitment to build healthcare Capacity in Senegal & finalize our annual conference “5th edition of Merck Africa Asia Luminary” to be conducted in Dakar on 30th & 31st of October 2018 under His Excellency patronage and in partnership with Senegal Ministry of Health. 14 First Ladies, 20 Ministers of Health and 450 healthcare providers from more than 45 countries will attend and benefit from it” emphasized Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.

Merck Foundation CEO also conducted meeting with Minister of Health of Senegal, Hon. Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr to discuss the procedure for providing one and two years Oncology Fellowship to Senegalese doctors for the next five years. They also discussed the training for Fertility specialists to improve access to quality fertility care in the country. Moreover, the programs will also include providing Diabetes Diploma in French to improve Diabetes care in Senegal.

Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation meeting with Hon. Abdoulaye Diouf SARR, Minister of Health, Senegal
“We are proud to partner with Merck Foundation, we are happy with their strong commitment and the efficient execution of their programs in the country” emphasized Hon. Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr. Merck Foundation also discussed the preparation of The 5th Edition of ‘Merck Africa Asia Luminary’ 2018 in Dakar Senegal.

World Health Organization — WHO has invited Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation to share her experience in conducting Merck More Than a Mother campaign to improve access to fertility care and break the stigma around infertile women. A panel discussion was conducted during the regional conference of WHO for Ministers of Health of Africa to discuss the inclusion of fertility care on the global health agenda.

About Merck Oncology Fellowship Program

The Merck Oncology Fellowship Program, a key initiative of Merck Cancer Access Program, focuses on building additional capacity through medical education and training.

The lack of financial means is not the only challenge in Africa and developing countries, but a scarcity of trained health care personnel capable to tackle the prevention, early diagnosis and management of cancer at all levels of the health care systems is even a bigger challenge.

Merck Oncology Fellowship Program focuses on building professional cancer care capacity with the aim to increase the limited number of oncologists in Africa and Developing countries. The program provides One-year fellowship program at Tata Memorial Centre — India, One and half-years Oncology Fellowship programs at University of Malaya — Malaysia, Two years Oncology Fellowship Program at University of Nairobi — Kenya and Two years Master degree in Medical Oncology at Cairo University — Egypt, in partnership with African Ministries of Health, Local Governments and Academia.

Launched in 2016, over 43 candidates from more than 17 African countries has rolled in the Merck Oncology Fellowship Program. The program will continue to build cancer care capability in African countries such as Botswana, Cameroon, CAR, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Merck Foundation will also organize a similar training program for media representatives from French speaking countries in Mauritius in December 2018.

About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign;

In many cultures, childless women suffer discrimination, stigma, and ostracism. Their inability to have children results in great isolation, disinheritance, and assaults. “Merck More Than a Mother” empowers such women through the access to information, health, change of mindsets and economic empowerment.

As part of this Campaign, we started “Empowering Berna” project in Africa to help childless and infertile women starting their own business and thus achieve financial independence and become stronger and happier. The project has benefited more than 1,000 women across the continent.

Also, part of the campaign is our Merck Embryology & Fertility Training Program, a three-month hands-on practical course to establish the platform of fertility specialists across Africa and Asia.

Merck Foundation provided for more than 50 candidates, three months to six months clinical and practical training for fertility specialists and embryologists in more than 29 countries across Africa and Asia such as: Chad, Niger, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire , Ghana, Ethiopia , Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania , Zambia , Nigeria, Benin, Mali, Burkina Fuso, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cameron, Rwanda, Botswana, DR Congo , Congo Brazzaville, Gambia , Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Merck Foundation is making history in many African countries where they never had fertility specialists or specialized fertility clinics before ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ intervention, to train the first fertility specialists such as; in Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Chad, and Guinea.

Merck Foundation plan supported the establishment of the first public IVF centers in Ethiopia and Uganda through providing the clinical and practical training necessary for their staff. Merck Foundation also plans to support the establishment of the first public IVF in Tanzania soon.

“Merck more than a Mother” launched in 2015, is a program of the Merck Foundation, the foundation drives many of our initiatives and programs in the area of build health care and research capacity and improves access to equitable healthcare solutions.

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About Merck Foundation
The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, 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

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