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Merck Foundation Creating Significant Health Impact In Underserved Communities – CEO

Dr Rasha Kelej, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Merck Foundation.

By Ebere Agozie

 Dr Rasha Kelej, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Merck Foundation says the foundation’s strategy and  programmes are making a huge impact  in the  under-served  communities  across the world.

Kelej said this during the virtual inauguration of the 8th Edition of Merck Africa, Asia Luminary on Wednesday which had most African First Ladies and Ministers of Health in attendance.

Kelej, who is also the President of Merck Foundation 'More Than a Mother’, said the ongoing three day conference is to discuss strategies  and  solutions   for  health challenges across countries.

``The aim is to  contribute  to  improving  access  to  quality and  equitable  healthcare solutions  and building  healthcare capacity in many critical and underserved  medical  fields.

``These include diabetes, cardiovascular problems, endocrinology, cancer, research, fertility care, women health, sexual and reproductive   care, respiratory medicines and acute medicines’’.
She added that more  than 1100 doctors  from 42 countries  have benefited  from  Merck Foundation  scholarship  in  the  above  fields and  more will join in other specialties.

``These other areas include internal medicine, gastroenterology,  mental health, orthopedic trauma, paediatric care, emergency medicine, dermatology, neonatal medicine, pain management,  psychiatry, clinical microbiology and infectious diseases and ophthalmology, among others.

``We are working with African First ladies to provide the necessary training to establish strong platforms of experts in many important and critical specialties in their countries".

Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation appreciated the participants for coming together in finding quality healthcare solutions and implementations to break the infertility stigma and support girl education.

He said that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been greater than many expected across the globe and that this has highlighted the importance of focusing on building and advancing healthcare capacity.

``Especially in the area of training of medical staff at all levels nationwide.

``I call on the rest of the world to join hands with us in order to realise the Merck Foundation’s vision of "Everyone in the world should lead a happy and fulfilling life’’.

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