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Merck Foundation Marks World Hypertension Day By Providing 760 Scholarships In 52 Countries

Merck Foundation

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, marked ‘World Hypertension Day 2024’ together with Africa’s First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Medical Societies and Academia through their “Nationwide Diabetes & Hypertension Blue Points Program” by providing scholarships for young doctors to transform the patient care landscape in the fields of Hypertension, Cardiology, Diabetes and Endocrinology, and by raising awareness in communities in Africa and beyond.

CEO of Merck Foundation, Senator Dr Rasha Kelej, stated, “At Merck Foundation, we mark “World Hypertension Day” by improving access to quality and equitable Hypertension, Diabetes and Cardiovascular preventive care, which are all co-related in Africa, Asia & Latin America.

“Together with our Ambassadors – The First Ladies of Africa, and partners like Ministries of Health, Medical Societies and Academia, we have till today provided more than 750 scholarships to doctors from 52 countries, of One-year PG Diploma and Two-year Master degree in Preventive Cardiovascular, Diabetes, Endocrinology and Obesity & Weight Management, and also a special 3-month Diabetes Mastercourse in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. These scholarships have been provided to the young doctors to form a strong platform of experts nationwide, and not only from capitals or big cities.”

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Merck Foundation has, in total, provided more than 1760 scholarships to doctors from 52 countries in 42 critical and underserved medical specialities.

Senator Dr. Kelej further added, “We recently launched new Fellowship Programs of One-year Clinical Cardiovascular care and One-year Clinical Diabetes, onsite training programs in India for African doctors. These programs will help us to to futher improve cardiovascular, Hypertension and Diabetes care in Africa and other developing countries.”

Merck Foundation alumnus from Kenya, Dr. Victoria Mumbo, shared, “I have completed the post-graduate degree in Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, provided by Merck Foundation. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Merck Foundation for this life-changing opportunity. After the completion of this course, my approach towards patient management has changed. It has helped me to also educate the community about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle.”

Merck Foundation, in partnership with African First Ladies, has released a children’s storybook and adapted animation Film, “Mark’s Pressure,” with an aim to focus on the causes of the early onset of hypertension and raising awareness about its early detection, prevention and management.

“Through our new animation film “Mark’s Pressure”, we want to encourage our communities to reduce salt, stop sugar, exercise regularly, eat healthy and stop smoking. This is the only way to prevent and manage hypertension and diabetes, which are predominant risk factors for the development of several serious complications and diseases”, says Senator Rasha Kelej.

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Merck Foundation’s pan African TV program, “Our Africa”, is conceptualized, produced, directed, and co-hosted by Senator Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and features African Fashion Designers, Singers, and prominent experts from various domains with the aim to raise awareness about social and health issues. It has episodes dedicated to raising awareness about Diabetes and Promoting Healthy Lifestyles.

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