Merck Foundation commemorates World Heart Day

MERCK Foundation joins the world in commemorating World Heart Day noting its long-term commitment in improving cardiovascular preventive care capacity in Africa, Asia and beyond.

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany has a strong partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Medical Societies, and Academia.

“At Merck Foundation, we mark ‘World Heart Day’ in a very unique way. How? By providing scholarships of one year Post-Graduate Diploma and two-year Master degree in Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine to 100 doctors from 25 countries in Africa and Asia. No one on the earth can imagine how proud I am that we have so far provided specialty training to more than 1200 doctors in very critical and underserved specialties, not only cardiovascular but also Oncology, Diabetes, Reproductive care, Respiratory, Intensive care, Urology, Gastroenterology, Orthopedic, Pediatric Emergency and Neonatal care, psychiatry, pain management, surgery and more. It is the highlight of my career and my life,” Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation said.

Senator, Dr. Kelej added, “During Coronavirus pandemic, it has been more important than ever to build healthcare capacity and train specialized doctors. In some of these countries, they have never had even one oncologist, for example. They may only have a general practitioner. We simply made history in these countries such as The Gambia, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Botswana, Namibia, Chad, Niger, Guinea & Liberia, not only in various specialties like Oncology, HYPERTENSION, Diabetes, Fertility, Respiratory, Pediatric, Orthopedic, Psychiatry, Intensive care and many more.”

Merck Foundation has to date provided scholarships for Cardiovascular care specialty training to about 100 doctors from the following 25 countries: Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Namibia Nepal, Niger, Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan Tanzania, UAE, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

“I always wanted to excel in my field and help patients suffering from heart diseases and other related issues. I would like to thank Merck Foundation for making this dream a reality. I successfully completed the two-year Master course in Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, the skills I gained from this program are tremendous and have helped me to gain confidence to treat cardiovascular patients. I applaud Merck Foundation for supporting doctors like me who are eager to learn and serve their communities,” says Dr. Israel Hagbevor, a Merck Foundation alumnus from Ghana.

More than 1200 doctors from 42 countries have benefitted from Merck Foundation scholarships in various critical and underserved fields such as Oncology, Diabetes, Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, Endocrinology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Acute Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Embryology & Fertility specialty, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Dermatology, Psychiatry, Emergency and Resuscitation Medicine, Critical Care, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Neonatal Medicine, Advanced Surgical Practice, Pain Management, Urology, General Surgery, Clinical Microbiology and infectious diseases, Ophthalmology, Internal Medicine, Trauma & Orthopedics, Neuroimaging for research Biotechnology in ART and other specialties.

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