#WorldCancerDay: Merck foundation and First lady to build a trained cancer care team

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, in partnership with H.E. Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, First Lady of Ghana and Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother together with the Ministry of Health of Ghana, mark ‘World Cancer Day 2021’ themed ‘I am and I will’ through their Cancer Access Program to build cancer care capacity with the aim of increasing the limited number of Oncologists across the continent.

Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation, Most Influential African (2019 & 2020) & African Woman of the Year 2020 emphasized, “We at Merck Foundation strive to make the African healthcare professionals highly competent and fully independent by providing the best in class multidisciplinary oncology and cancer care training to young doctors from all over Africa. I am proud of our success to reshape and advance the public cancer care sector and to increase the limited number of oncologists by more than 70 new oncologists to be the first in 24 countries. And to form a Multidisciplinary Oncology Care teams in many countries consist of; Medical, Surgery, Pediatrics, Gynecology, Radiation Oncologists, Nursing, Pathologist, and Radiology Technician. We are definitely making history in Africa through training the first oncologists and first cancer care teams in many countries such as; The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Liberia, Guinea Conakry, Central African Republic, Chad, and Niger. Our key objective is to provide quality and equitable care to patients who never had anyone to care for them before”.

The Cancer Access program has scaled up & strengthened efforts and activities in more countries because “we are committed to cancer care landscape transformation in the continent. Together we can fight Cancer Every Day and lead Africa to a Better Future”.

It has also “provided scholarships to more than 64 Ghanaian Doctors in different specialties including Diabetes, Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, Sexual and Reproductive medicines, Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction and Embryology, Respiratory medicine and Acute Medicine and Embryology.

Merck Cancer Access Program

Launched in 2016, the Merck Cancer Access Program provides One-, two- and three-years fellowship, master’s degree, and Diploma programs for African doctors in India, Egypt, Kenya, and Malaysia.

“We are committed to lead Africa to a better future through transforming the landscape of Cancer care in the continent. We will soon scale up and strengthen our efforts and activities in more countries across Africa”, added Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Meanwhile, Merck Foundation also recently introduced 2 years online PG Diploma in Cancer and Clinical Oncology from the UK.

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