Merck Foundation marks “World Diabetes Day 2019” in partnership with African First Ladies and Ministries of Health to increase the Diabetes experts nationwide

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Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation with H.E. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia and H.E. PROF. GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi

  • Merck Foundation to provide One and two Year on-line Post-graduate Diabetes Diploma and Masters from South Wales University for more than 180 doctors from 34 countries in Africa and Asia.

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany marked ‘World Diabetes Day 2019’ by building diabetes care capacity in Africa and Asia.

Watch Video - First Diabetologist in Kenya from Merck Foundation Alumni, Dr. Sam Mucheru

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation explained, “We strongly believe that starting the “Merck Nationwide Diabetes Blue Points Project” is the right strategy to ensure that every provenance in Africa will have the diabetes care they deserve and not only the capital or main cities. In partnership with African First Ladies and Ministries of Health we are trying to provide one year on line diploma for doctors from different provinces, counties or districts of respective countries, ensuring geographical coverage of the whole country. The aim is to build a platform of diabetes experts nationwide across Africa. It is a very difficult Diploma; it needs dedication and hard work therefore selection and screening of the right candidates is the key to ensure their continuity and success but Ministries of Health are doing great job to find the eligible candidates who do not drop out of the course.”

Merck Foundation is providing for One-Year Diploma in Diabetes Management and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine from University of South Wales, UK.


Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation with H.E. Denise Nkurunziza, The First Lady of Burundi, H.E. Brigitte Touadera, The First Lady of Central African Republic, H.E. Hinda Deby Itno, First Lady of the, Republic of Chad, H.E. Clar Weah, The First Lady of Republic of Liberia, H.E. Professor Gertrude Mutharika, The First Lady of Malawi, Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Board of Trustees of Merck Foundation, H.E. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, The First Lady of Ghana, H.E. Aisha Buhari, First Lady of Nigeria, H.E Fatima Maada Bio, The First Lady of Sierra Leone, H.E. Madam Esther Lungu, The First Lady of Zambia, H.E. Auxillia Mnangagwa, The First Lady of Zimbabwe.

Moreover, Merck Foundation is providing for French Speaking countries the ‘Master course in the Clinical Management of Diabetes’ in French, accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners, United Kingdom.


Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation with H.E. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia, H.E. PROF. GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi and H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone.

So far, Merck Foundation has already enrolled more than 180 candidates under their ‘Merck Nationwide Diabetes Blue Point Project’ from 34 African and Asian Countries including Bangladesh, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Gambia, UAE, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation with H.E. Professor Gertrude Mutharika, The First Lady of Malawi and H.E Fatima Maada Bio, The First Lady of Sierra Leone.

On completion of course, clinicians will setup diabetes clinic within public sector setting, nationwide. This will mark another milestone of our commitment to working with governments, academia and relevant stakeholders in building healthcare capacity with a focus on non-communicable diseases in developing countries” added Dr. Rasha Kelej.
Lorato Wadikonyana from Botswana, candidate enrolled under Diabetes Blue Points Project says, “This course will be very beneficial not only for me but also for the people of my country as it will enable me to provide them right care and treatment for the complications that arise due to diabetes”.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation with H.E. Hinda Deby Itno, First Lady of the, Republic of Chad, H.E. Clar Weah, The First Lady of Republic of Liberia, H.E. Professor Gertrude Mutharika, The First Lady of Malawi and H.E Fatima Maada Bio, The First Lady of Sierra Leone.

George Mshanga from Zambia, candidate enrolled under Diabetes Blue Points Project says “I am delighted to be a beneficiary of this project, as it this will enable me to improve my knowledge and experience and utilize my expertise to help and treat the people of my country”

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation with H.E. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation with H.E. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia, H.E. PROF. GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi and H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation with H.E. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia, H.E. PROF. GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi and H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone.

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The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved 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 visit www.merck-foundation.com to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flicker.

About Merck

Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 52,000 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.

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.