Merck Foundation connects Africa with Asia, through partnership with India, to build the cancer care capacity in the African Continent

Merck Foundation connects Africa with Asia, through partnership with India, to build the cancer care capacity in the African Continent
  • Merck Foundation and Tata Memorial Centre Signs MOU to build Cancer Care Capacity in Africa
  •  Through this partnership Merck Foundation aims to provide one-year oncology fellowship training for African doctors


Mumbai, 17th April 2018 – Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, and the Tata Memorial centre, a premier cancer centre in India, announced today the signing of an MOU, aimed to provide fellowship program to Africa candidates.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation and Dr Kailash Sharma Prof. K.S Sharma, Director (Academics), Tata Memorial Centre with the fellows of Merck Oncology Fellowship program

This initiative is a part of Merck Foundation’s ‘Merck Cancer Access Program’ that has been initiated by the Merck Foundation to increase the limited number of oncologists across Africa.

Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation and Dr. Kailash Sharma Prof. K.S Sharma, Director (Academics), Tata Memorial Centre with MOU

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation said,” We are delighted to formalize today our collaboration with the Tata Memorial centre under the umbrella of newly launched Merck Foundation. We have started our collaboration in 2016, during these two years, we have provided more than 30 African doctors with one-year oncology fellowship at Tata Memorial Centre.We believe that our partnership with India has a long way to go and together we can play a vital role in Africa and Asia.”

Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with the future oncologists of Africa getting trained at the Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai

“I strongly believe that building capacity is the right strategy to improve cancer care since lack of professional skills is the key challenge in Africa and developing countries.” Dr. Rasha Kelej added.

 Prof. K.S Sharma, Director (Academics), Tata Memorial Centre said, “We are pleased to announce our partnership with Merck Foundation to supporting Merck Foundation in building cancer care capacity in Asian and African countries. The collaboration in the field of academics will effectively enhance the capabilities to prevent, detect and treat the rising cases of cancer in these countries.”

We are planning to expand the cancer care centres in more states like Punjab, UP, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Assam. TMC will be able to train more doctors, nurses, and technicians from Low and middle-income countries.” he further added.

 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:

  • Merck Cancer Access Program:

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.

  • Merck More Than A Mother:

More than 50 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.

  • Merck Diabetes and Hypertension Awards:

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.


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About Merck Foundation

The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and well being of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to innovative healthcare solutions in under-served 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  to read more and/or register online to interact and exchange experience with our registered members.

About Merck

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 2017, Merck generated sales of € 15.3 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.


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