Merck, Tanzania partner to build healthcare capacity

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From left to right: Mr Leonard Saika, Program Director Merck Foundation;Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and H.E. Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr SamiaSuluhu Hassan

 By Christine Muchira/Release

Merck Foundation has committed to a long term partnership with the Government of Tanzania to build healthcare capacity and improve access to innovative and equitable healthcare solutions across the country as part of their CSR programs across Africa.

The developments came during the high-level meeting between Her Excellency Vice President, Dr.SamiaSuluhu Hassan and Dr. Rasha Kelej, the CEO of Merck Foundation.

Merck Foundation will focus on providing one year and two years Surgical and Paediatric oncology fellowship program in India, Europe and University of Nairobi for Tanzanian doctors to improve the cancer care in the country.

They will also focus on empowering infertile women through access to information, awareness, health, change of mind set and economic empowerment across the country through their ‘Merck more than a Mother’ campaign.

CEO Merck Foundation said the prevalence of infertility is so high in Africa, one every four couple in reproductive age suffers from infertility and yet around 85% of those cases are due to untreated infectious disease.

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“The prevalence of infertility is so high in Africa, one every four couple in reproductive age suffers from infertility and yet around 85% of those cases are due to untreated infectious disease which can prevented, hence raising awareness about prevention through local media and social media is very critical”, Rasha Kelej said.

Adding that, “Raising awareness about male infertility as the infertility affects women and men equally and yet women are the one who been solely blamed, discriminated and mistreated in their communities. The campaign will address this topic and encourage men to discuss openly their infertility and share the journey of infertility diagnosis and treatment with their wives”.

Her Excellency Vice President, SamiaSuluhu Hassan commended the role Merck Foundation plays in healthcare capacity building in Africa and welcomes them to Tanzania.

She added: “Tanzania welcomes Merck Foundation to the country, we are happy to partner with such reputable and serious organization top empower women and you, healthcare and science. I will personally work with you to empower these underprivileged women  socially and economically across Tanzania and the rest of the world to create a culture shift needed to respect and appreciate women as productive members in society weather they are mother or not.”

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To know more about Merck Foundation programs and their training and fellowship opportunities, please visit their website www.merck-foundation.com and www.merckmorethanamother.com

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