The Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of leading pharmaceutical company, Merck Germany, has announced a partnership with Egypt to build a Cancer Care Capacity center in Africa. The agreement is part of a bigger plan to further develop the continent’s healthcare industry.
Through this partnership, the Merck Foundation aims to provide two-year Medical Oncology Master Degree program for African doctors.
As such, the Foundation has partnered with Egypt’s National Cancer Institute to provide Masters Degrees in Medical Oncology for African doctors. The 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.
“We are pleased to announce our partnership with the National Cancer Institute, Egypt, which is considered as the benchmark of Cancer Care in Northern Africa and Middle East,” Merck Foundation CEO, commented Dr. Rasha Kelej.
“We are committed to improve patient’s access to care. We currently have 5 students from Ghana, Namibia, Liberia and Rwanda, registered with the Master Degree program in Medical Oncology under Merck Cancer Access Program. We plan to expand this program to more African countries like, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Senegal, Uganda and Kenya. We believe that our partnership in Egypt will go a long way and together we can play a vital role in Africa,” Dr. Kelej added.
“We are pleased to announce our partnership with Merck Foundation to support in building cancer care capacity in rest of African countries. The collaboration in the field of academics will effectively enhance the capabilities to prevent, detect and treat the rising cases of cancer in these countries,” said Vice Dean of National Cancer Institute, Prof. Abdel-Rahman Zekri.
On his part, Prof. Dr. Hatem Ahmed Aboulkassem, Dean of National Cancer Institute emphasized that the scarcity of trained healthcare personnel capable of tackling prevention, early diagnosis and management of cancer is a bigger challenge. He stated that the partnership will prove to be very beneficial for many African countries.
The Merck Foundation has initiated the several activities in partnership with academia, ministries of health and the offices of First Ladies in more than 35 countries, including: the Merck Cancer Access Program, which seeks to increase the limited number of oncologists in Africa; Merck More Than A Mother, a drive to improve quality, regulated and safe fertility care in developing countries; and Merck Diabetes and Hypertension Awards, which are part of the effort to establish a platform of diabetes and hypertension experts in Africa and Asia
Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. Today, the firm’s founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group.