Merck Foundation Aims To Bridge Specialist Gap In Africa And Asia

MERCK Foundation trained over 1 100 medical practitioners from Africa and Asia to bridge the gap of shortage of health personnel in some countries.

By Kudakwashe Pembere

On the back of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, most of these trainings were done virtually. This was said by Merck Foundation CEO Senator Dr Rasha Kelej during her organisation’s inaugural session of the 8th Edition of the ”MERCK FOUNDATION AFRICA ASIA LUMINARY” 2021 Online Videoconference.

I would to assure that as Merck foundation we have trained 350 doctors across 35 countries in Africa and Asia in infertility specialty and also reproductive health which is a great milestone because most of them are the first specialists in their countries.

“In some countries they have limited numbers of gynecologists. This will help women and the couple to have access to someone to support them after we raise awareness on infertility, how we can deal with it, how we can prevent it. Access to these healthcare providers can help them from people who try to deceive them,” she said.

Among topics which were discussed during this session by African first ladies from 16 countries were infertility and stigma associated with it. Also mentioned was the issue of male involvement in infertility issues and mental health issues women deal with as well as Gender Based Violence.

“I believe women and particularly women need the very much needed support during the COVID-19 specifically. As we know childless women are usually abused physically and psychologically,” Dr Kelej said.

More than 1100 doctor from 42 countries, Dr Kelej said, have benefited from Merck Foundation scholarship in the above fields, and more will join in the next few years to benefit from more scholarships in more specialties such as: Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Mental Health, Orthopedic Trauma, Paediatric, Emergency Medicine, Dermatology, Neonatal Medicine, Pain Management, Psychiatry, Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, Ophthalmology, Urology, Trauma and orthopedics.

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