Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, marks ‘World Diabetes Day 2021’ together with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Medical Societies, and Academia through their long-term program to build healthcare capacity and improving access for Diabetes, Hypertension and Endocrinology by providing specialty training to African, Asian and Latin American doctors.
Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and One of the 100 Most Influential African Women (2019, 2020 & 2021) explained, “We, at Merck Foundation, mark World Diabetes Day 2021 incredibly by providing scholarships as part of the ‘Merck Foundation Diabetes Blue Points Program’. So far, more than 600 doctors from 42 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America have completed or enrolled into one-year diploma and two-year master’s degree programs in Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, as well as a three-month ‘Master course in the Clinical Management of Diabetes’ in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. These programs are in partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health and Medical Societies. Moreover, I am proud to announce that we have so far provided specialty training to more than 1200 doctors in very critical and underserved specialties, not only Diabetes but also Oncology, Cardiovascular, Reproductive care, Respiratory, Intensive care, Urology, Gastroenterology, Orthopedic, Pediatric Emergency and Neonatal care, psychiatry, pain management, surgery and more. It is the pinnacle of my professional and personal lives.”
“Merck Foundation constantly work towards building healthcare capacity in various countries for those who suffer from Diabetes and its associated ailments. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021 is ‘Access to Diabetes Care’, which is very close to the Merck Foundation’s goal as we understand the urgent need to increase access for diabetes diagnosis and treatment, in order to prevent complications and improve the quality of life of people living with diabetes, especially under these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic. With each day, Merck Foundation strives transform patient care capacity in Africa and other developing countries.”
Merck Foundation provides One-Year Postgraduate Diploma and Two-year master degree in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Preventative Cardiovascular Medicines from UK University. Merck Foundation also enrolls doctors for a ‘Master course in the Clinical Management of Diabetes’ in 4 languages- English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, endorsed by Diabetes UK to improve access to quality and equitable diabetes care for African countries and Latin American countries.
So far, Merck Foundation has already enrolled more than 600 candidates for these courses from 42 African and Asian Countries including Bangladesh, Botswana, Burundi, CAR, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinee Conakry, Indonesia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, UAE, Uganda, , Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“The trained doctors will be able to establish diabetes clinics in their Health Centres or Hospitals with the aim of preventing and managing the condition in their respective communities. This will significantly help diabetic people with ongoing care and support to manage their condition and avoid complications. It is important not to overlook the fact that they also fall into the Coronavirus high-risk group. This World Diabetes Day 2021 let’s take it on as a challenge and create awareness about diabetes and adapting the right lifestyle to prevent such situations”, added Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej.
Dr. Beata Iyaloo Haulofu from Namibia, candidate enrolled for PG Diploma Diabetes says, “Merck Foundation Diabetes Blue Points Training Program” is very important to me. With this program I will gain the required expertise in this field, which will enable me to better manage diabetic patients, thus reducing the morbidity and mortality linked to this health threat, contributing to the worldwide problem of diabetes.
Dr Niyonsenga Simon Pierre from Rwanda, candidate undergoing MSc diabetes states, “I am grateful to Merck Foundation for the opportunity. This beneficial course will advance my clinical knowledge and aid me in providing my expertise to the people of my country, advocating for increased prevention, control and treatment”.