Merck Foundation partners with National Cancer Institute of Egypt to provide Master Degree in Medical Oncology for African Doctors

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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

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with Prof. Dr. Hatem Ahmed Aboulkassem, Dean of National Cancer Institute(on her left), Prof. Abdel-Rahman Zekri, Vice Dean of National Cancer Institute (on her right) and Alumni from Ghana, Namibia, Liberia and Rwanda, registered with the Master Degree program in Medical Oncology under Merck Cancer Access Program

Cairo, Egypt: Merck Foundation supports Africa through the partnership with Egypt, to build the Cancer Care Capacity in the African Continent; Through this partnership, Merck Foundation aims to provide two-year Medical Oncology Master Degree program for African doctors.

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany ​partners with Egypt’s National Cancer Institute to provide Master Degree in Medical Oncology for African doctors. 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.

​Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation ​emphasized, “​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. 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.”

“I strongly believe that building capacity by having trained Oncologists in each African countries is pivotal, since lack of professional skills is the key challenge in Africa and developing countries.” Dr. Rasha Kelej added.

Prof. Abdel-Rahman Zekri, Vice Dean of National Cancer Institute said, “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.”

Prof. Dr. Hatem Ahmed Aboulkassem, Dean of National Cancer Institute emphasized, “The scarcity of trained healthcare personnel capable of tackling prevention, early diagnosis and management of cancer is a bigger challenge, and therefore, this partnership will prove to be very beneficial for many African countries”.

Merck Foundation has 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 43 African physicians received Oncology Fellowship programs 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 84 candidates received three-month hands-on training to be embryologists and fertility specialists from 29 countries to improve quality, regulated and safe fertility care in developing countries.
  • Merck Diabetes and Hypertension Awards: Over 56 medical postgraduates will receive a one-year online diploma in diabetes or preventive cardiovascular medicines, as part of the effort to establish a platform of diabetes and hypertension experts in Africa and Asia

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 Merck Foundation Website.

About Merck:

Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 53,000 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 2017, Merck generated sales of € 15.3 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.