Mr James Macharia, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Health; Dr Karl Ludwig Kley, CEO Merck; Dr Evans Kidero, Governor of Nairobi and Dr Stefan Oschmann, Deputy CEO Merck during a panel interview on healthcare in Africa at the Merck Africa Luminary
Merck has committed to continue working closely with African governments, healthcare stakeholders and academia to improve the quality of healthcare across the continent. Speaking at the inauguration of this year’s Merck Africa Luminary in Nairobi, Kenya, in November 2015 Karl Ludwig Kley, Chairman of Executive Board and CEO of Merck emphasized, "It is very important to us to contribute to the social and economic development of the country – together with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the County Government of Nairobi. We are going to further intensify our close collaboration with African governments, the healthcare sector and academic institutions. Ultimately, it's about improving the quality of healthcare for people across the whole continent."
The then Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Health, James Macharia stated, “We are delighted to host the annual “Merck Africa Luminary” for the first time in Africa, here in Kenya. Our strategic partnership with Merck will add value to our country not only for boosting the healthcare sector but for the country’s economic progression as well. Private sector has so much influence over people’s life styles”.
The Governor of Nairobi County, Evans Kidero said during his welcome speech, “We are happy to partner with reputable and innovative companies such as Merck. We believe that the only way to effectively prevent, detect and treat the rising number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension in Africa is through establishing Public Private Partnership models between health ministries, NGOs, academia, patient associations and industry in implementing successful programs. The size and complexity of the task is so large that no single organization or institution can manage on its own, so integration of efforts is necessary to achieve the health gains that our nation deserves”.
Dr Stefan Oschmann, CEO-elect and Dr Karl-Ludwig Kley, CEO of Merck meet with Dr Evans Kidero, the Governor of Nairobi during their visit to Kenya for the Merck Luminary
The Merck Africa Luminary brought more than 200 African healthcare providers from more than 20 African countries and 170 healthcare providers from Kenya to benefit from medical and scientific education and discussion topics like healthcare capacity building and access to high quality, innovative and sustainable healthcare solutions.
Merck Africa Luminary 2015 participants
The participants also attended sessions delivered by top international and regional experts in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) management such as diabetes, fertility, oncology, and cardiology. Other sessions included nutrition, family medicine and life science research.
Themed "Together we commit to Africa”, the Merck Africa Luminary serves as a platform for African healthcare providers and policy makers to exchange their experiences on NCDs management in their countries and discuss the most pressing problems affecting healthcare in order to define strategies to address these health challenges.
Merck Africa Diabetes Day
During the Luminary, Merck announced a pan African campaign “Merck Africa Diabetes Day” dubbed to encourage people to think about diabetes every day. The aim of the initiative is to make people in Africa aware of the dangers of diabetes. As part of this campaign Merck plans to provide 300,000 people in Africa with free screening and education about diabetes. The campaign will be kicked off first in Kenya in partnership with Kenya Diabetes Management Information Centre, Ministry of Health and the County Government of Nairobi and will extend to more African countries in the future.
Stefan Maron, Managing Director Merck South and East Africa, Dr Stefan Oschmann, CEO-elect Merck, Dr Karl-Ludwig Kley, CEO Merck, Mr James Macharia, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary Health, Hon Joyce Lay, Member of Parliament, Kenya, Dr Evans Kidero, Governor of Nairobi and Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer Merck Healthcare during the Seven Seas 80 years anniversary celebration
At the end of the Luminary’s inauguration session, Merck celebrated the 80 year anniversary of its Seven Seas brand with participants. Seven Seas has 80 years of heritage in perfecting marine oil supplements and providing people with life-long wellbeing through its extensive selection of healthy supplements and oils.
Joyce Lay appointed “Merck More than a Mother” ambassador for Kenya
During the Merck Africa Luminary meeting, Dr Kley appointed Joyce Lay, a Member of Parliament in Kenya as the ambassador for the Merck More than a Mother campaign in Kenya for the period 2015-2016 in recognition of her contribution in reducing stigmatization on infertility in the country.
Dr Kley also awarded Grace Kambini, a Kenyan woman who has openly shared her story of stigmatization and suffering for being infertile, for her courage in creating awareness and sharing her devastating experience so that no other woman would suffer the same. Grace is the champion of the campaign.
Dr Karl Ludwig Kley, CEO of Merck congratulates Hon Joyce Lay, Member of Parliament for Taita Taveta, Kenya for her appointment as the ambassador for the More than a Mother campaign as Rasha kelej, Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare looks on
“Merck More Than a Mother” Campaign will not only provide medical education and awareness for medical students and general practitioners, but will also support governments to define policies to improve access to regulated, effective and safe fertility care, address the need for interventions to reduce stigmatization and social suffering of infertile women and raise awareness about male infertility and the necessity for a team approach to family building among couples.
“Infertility is not just a woman’s burden, but a couple’s burden” said Joyce Lay in her speech. She urged for education, early prevention, detection and treatment of infertility.
Recognition of the first award winner of UNESCO-MARS
A Kenyan who won the first award for the UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit was recognized at home during the inauguration of the Merck Africa Luminary. Bernard Kulohoma from the University of Nairobi emerged the winner of a six month’s research fellowship at Merck’s R&D Hub in Germany.
Kulohoma, a student at the University’s Center for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics came first out of 250 abstract applications received from all over Africa. A similar award went to Rebecca Chukwuanukwu from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria.
The UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit – MARS is Merck CAP’s signature initiative in partnership with UNESCO, Cambridge University, University of Rome and Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).
The 2015 Summit which was held in Geneva, Switzerland in October brought together researchers from over 30 countries in Africa to discuss the generation, sharing and dissemination of research data and to prepare for the road ahead in Africa’s development as an international hub for research excellence and scientific innovation.
The annual Summit aims to contribute to building research capacity within the African research community on health with special focus on Ebola and emergent infectious diseases, showcase innovative research taking place in projects, programs and initiatives across African universities and the wider African research community.
It also aims to identify scientific research priorities for evolving health need opportunities to capitalize on HIV research capacities for emerging infectious diseases in Africa such as Ebola.
Dr Kley awarded by KEMRI
During his visit to Kenya for the Merck Africa Luminary, Dr Kley also visited KEMRI and met with Prof. Solomon Mpoke, the Executive Director of the Institute. At the meeting, the two held discussions on research collaborations on areas of interest to the two organisations. At the end of the visit Dr Kley was awarded as an acknowledgment for his contribution to building research capacity in Africa.
Merck’s Executive Board visit to Africa
Merck has delivered healthcare services in Africa since 1897. With a population rising faster than in any other global market and a growing middle class, the company is increasingly tapping into the continent’s innovative spirit to create health awareness and help respond to unmet medical needs. The Group’s Executive Board visited 10 African countries in November to underscore its commitment and rising importance of the continent.
Among the activities the Executive Board members participated in including the Merck Africa Luminary were the event to mark the announcement of Merck seeking to start local production of diabetes treatment Glucophage in Algeria, the inauguration of an office in Nigeria and start the sale of its Muse® Auto CD4/CD4% System to detect HIV. Members also participated in events in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, Mozambique, Botswana and Angola.
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