Merck Foundation partners with National Cancer Institute and Ministry of Higher Education of Egypt to train African Oncologists.


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Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation during her special meeting with Ministry of Higher Education, Egypt; National Cancer Institute, Cairo and African Ambassadors of Guinea Conakry, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Malawi and Zambia to discuss Merck Foundation’s Cancer Access Program.

  • Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation conducts a special meeting with Ministry of Higher Education, Egypt; National Cancer Institute, Cairo and African Ambassadors of Guinea Conakry, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Malawi and Zambia to discuss Merck Foundation’s Cancer Access Program & the two year and half Master Degree in Medical Oncology for African Doctors from 12 countries.
  • Merck Foundation commits to improve access to quality and equitable cancer care in Africa. 


Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany conducted a special meeting with Ministry of Higher Education, EgyptNational Cancer Institute, Cairo and African Ambassadors of Guinea Conakry, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Malawi and Zambia. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.

 “The purpose of this important meeting was to discuss the Merck Foundation’s Cancer Access Program and to define a process to facilitate the enrollment of the selected African Doctors from their respective countries into the two and half year Master Degree of Medical Oncology at National Cancer Institute, Cairo University”, emphasized Dr. Rasha Kelej.

A special committee consisting of Merck FoundationForeign Students Department of Ministry of High Education, EgyptAfrican Students from five countries and Academic Members of National Cancer Institute, Cairo discussed the challenges and solutions to improve the impact of the program for the next five years.

“More than 20 candidates from more than 12 countries are expected to join this program, annually. We are committed to lead Africa to a better future through shaping the landscape of Cancer care in the continent. My special thanks to Ministry of Higher Education, Egypt; National Cancer Institute and Cairo University for making this meeting a great success” added Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation during her visit to National Cancer Institute, Cairo, Egypt earlier this year.

About Merck Foundation Cancer Access program

• Merck Oncology two year Fellowship and Master Program focuses on building professional cancer care capacity with the aim to increase the limited number of oncologists in Africa and Developing countries. The program provides One-year fellowship program at Tata Memorial Centre - India, One and half-year Oncology Fellowship programs at University of Malaya - Malaysia, Two year Oncology Fellowship Program at University of Nairobi - Kenya and Two and half year Master degree in Medical, Surgical, Pediatric and Radiation Oncology at National cancer institute Of Cairo University - Egypt, in partnership with African first ladies Ministries of Health, Local Governments and Academia.

“Let me share with you few facts, there is not even a single oncologist in many African countries till today, countries such as The Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Guinea, Burundi, Niger. Therefore, Merck foundation focuses on building capacity and I am proud that we are making history in these countries by providing specialty training for the first oncologists there”, Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized.

Through Merck Cancer access program, since 2016, Merck foundation has  provided one and two and half year oncology fellowship and master program for African doctors to add more than 70 new Oncologists for 25 countries to increase the very limited number of Oncologists in Africa who are mainly focused in few countries and only in their capitals.

Countries such as; Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

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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 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 to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flicker.

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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.