|Front Row (L to R): Dr. Rasha Kelej – CEO Merck Foundation, Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board and Family Board of E-Merck KG and Chairman of Board of Trustees of Merck Foundation, YBhg. Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Abdul Rahim Hashim, Vice-Chancellor, University Of Malaya, YBhg. Dato' Professor Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya. Back Row (L to R) Ms. Ee Boon Huey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Merck Malaysia, Dr. Mary Yap Kain Ching, Deputy Minister of Higher Education Malaysia, Prof Dr. Tunku Kamarul Zaman Tunku ZainolAb|
Merck Foundation (MF), a non-profit company and subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany, and the University of Malaya (UM), Malaysia's oldest and most established institution of higher learning, signed a Memorandum of Understanding today aimed 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.
Professor Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Executive Board of E-Merck KG and Chairman of Board of Trustees of Merck Foundation said, "We are delighted to partner with the University of Malaya, to provide clinical training and fellowship programmes to young healthcare practitioners from Africa and other developing countries.
"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."
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."
YBhg. Dato' 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."
For MF, the collaboration exemplifies an effort to help improve the quality of healthcare in underserved communities around the world. The Merck Capacity Advancement Programme 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:
Over 30 African physicians received oncology fellowship programmes spanning one to two years, in a bid to help increase the limited number of oncologists in Africa.
More than 30 candidates received three-month hands-on training to be embryologists and fertility specialists in Africa and Asia to improve quality, regulated and safe fertility care in developing countries.
Over 50 medical postgraduates will receive a one-year online diploma in diabetes or preventive cardiovascular medicines, as part of the effort to establish a platform of diabetes and hypertension experts in Africa and Asia.
The awards encouraged participants from African and Asian medical universities to propose innovative concepts for improving early detection and prevention of diabetes and hypertension in their countries. The awards featured their own themes, namely, "Every Day is a Diabetes Day" and "What the Healthy Heart Needs".
UM post-graduate clinical masters student, Dr. Fu Mei Sian, won the Merck Diabetes Award 2017. MF will be enrolling her in a one-year online post-graduate diploma course in diabetes offered by the University of South Wales, UK.
Dr. Fu remarked, "I will also have the opportunity to apply for a study grant from Merck Malaysia on the concept paper that won the award. I hope I will be able to publish the study in the future and encourage more people to use the mobile application that is intended to help prevent diabetes complications."
Dr. Siti Nurbaya Shahrir, who holds a doctorate in Public Health from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia won of Merck Hypertension Award 2017. She declared, "I am sure the online post-graduate diploma course in preventive cardiovascular medicine will enable me to better serve my country by developing innovative solutions to curb hypertension."Join the conversation on our social media platforms below and let your voice be heard –
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About Merck Foundation
The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is a philanthropic organization that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to innovative healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website. Please go to www.merck-foundation.com to read more and/or register online to interact and exchange experience with our registered members. Merck Foundation is a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany.
Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2016, Merck generated sales of € 15.0 billion in 66 countries.
Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.