By Ebere Agozie
Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Merck Foundation says improved access to quality and equitable healthcare will foster nations’ well-being, social stability, individual prosperity and economic growth.
Stangenberg-Haverkamp said this at the 2023 (10th) edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary conference in partnership with Tata Memorial Centre, Department of Atomic Energy and India Ministry of Foreign Affairs with eleven African First Ladies were among the dignitaries that graced the event.
He noted that the foundation has been offering scholarships to African health workers in order to strengthen the quality of health care deliveries to individuals and families across developing countries to improve overall health and productivity.
“We are working with First Ladies of Africa, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, the Academia, Policymakers, Medical Societies, Media and Art communities to lead Africa and Asia to a healthier and better future.
“This would not have been possible without the efforts and continuous support and dedication of these stakeholders and we will continue to work closely with them in our full capacity to overcome healthcare and social challenges in the continents.
“Over the years, I have visited many countries and personally met with many of the doctors who received these scholarships, they shared their experience and the huge impact they have had on their patients and their communities, after their graduation.
“I must say that I am genuinely impressed by their unwavering dedication and commitment. I will continue visiting and meeting with them in their countries to update myself about the impact of our programs. Their success stories are inspirational”.
Sen. Rasha Kelej, the CEO of Merck Foundation in her address noted that the foundation has achieved great success in improving and amplifying efforts of health challenges year on year.
“We have come a long way and have together with our partners, made significant impacts by building healthcare and media capacity, breaking infertility stigma, empowering women, especially childless women, supporting girl education and raising awareness on a wide range of social and health issues.
“I feel proud to share with you all that we have provided more than 1,700 scholarships to young doctors from 50 countries in 42 critical and underserved specialties.
“These include Diabetes, Endocrinology, Oncology, Cardiovascular diseases, Fertility Care, Embryology, Sexual & Reproductive Medicine, Internal Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Acute Medicine, Critical Care, Paediatric Emergency, Gastroenterology, Rheumatology, Clinical Psychiatry, Urology and Ophthalmology.
“Also in General Surgery, Trauma and Orthopaedic, Dermatology, Neonatal Care, Pain Management, Emergency and Resuscitation, Laparoscopic Surgical Skills, Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Advanced Surgical Practice, Neuroimaging for Research and many more”.