With a view to strengthen healthcare infrastructure and build healthcare capacity in Africa, Merck Foundation (MF), a non-profit company and subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany, and the University of Malaya (UM), inked a Memorandum of Understanding today
Through this agreement, the organizations aim at providing fellowship training for post-graduate medical trainees from Africa and other developing countries.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by YB Datuk Dr. Mary Yap Kain Ching, Deputy Minister of Higher Education Malaysia.
For Merck Foundation, the collaboration exemplifies an effort to help improve the quality of healthcare in underserved communities around the world.
The Merck Capacity Advancement Program has benefited over 30,000 medical graduates across Africa and Asia.
In 2017 alone, MF initiated the following activities in partnership with academia, ministries of health and the offices of First Ladies in more than 35 countries
“We are delighted to partner with the University of Malaya, to provide clinical training and fellowship programs to young healthcare practitioners from Africa and other developing countries,” says Professor Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Executive Board of E-Merck KG and Chairman of Board of Trustees of Merck Foundation.
“I strongly believe that building capacity is the right strategy to improve access to quality and equitable healthcare since the lack of professional skills is a key challenge in these nations.
“We have successfully conducted many educational and fellowship programs in both Africa and Asia since 2012 and we will continue our long-term commitment through our Merck Foundation,” adds Stangenberg-Haverkamp
The MF-UM collaboration formalised today will facilitate academic support to post-graduate medical trainees in the fields of diabetes, oncology and infertility.
Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Executive Officer of Merck Foundation explained, “This partnership is essential for the sustainability of Merck Foundation programmes – especially ‘Merck Cancer Access Program’ and ‘Merck More Than A Mother’ – that serve as platforms to train oncologists and embryologists to improve access to fertility and cancer care in Africa and Asia.
“I personally believe through this partnership we will be able to make a significant impact on societies and scientific communities in both continents,” he adds.
YBhg. Datuk Professor Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya said, “We possess the requisite experience. Our medical faculty has a well-established post-graduate medical training programme that has already produced an international cohort of graduates from Indonesia, India, Mauritius, and the Maldives.”