Message from CEO of Merck Foundation, Senator Rasha Kelej, on Merck Foundation strategy to provide specialty training for African doctors to better manage Diabetes and Hypertension patients who are Coronavirus risk groups


Amidst the pandemic that has rocked the world, we must not forget people living with other health conditions such as Diabetes and Hypertension because they are the Coronavirus risk groups therefore Merck Foundation continues to build Hypertension and Diabetes care training to doctors, in partnership with African First Ladies and Ministries of Health. Moreover, we also provide training to doctors from Asian countries.

I am very proud to say that we have so far trainees and enrolled over 183 Medical postgraduates from over 35 countries. As a part of our efforts to build hypertension and diabetes care capacity, we enroll medical postgraduates for One Year Online Diploma and two-year online master’s degree in Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine and Diabetes from South Wales university in UK. Additionally, we also enroll doctors for a three-month Diabetes Master course from English, French and Portuguese-speaking African countries to advance their clinical knowledge in tackling these non-communicable conditions for the first time in French and Portuguese languages.

Merck Diabetes Blue Point Project Program Alumni- Dr Sofia Nepembe – Namibia

I am very proud to watch the video of Dr. Sofia Jarombwereni Natshikare Nepembe, Merck Foundation alumnus from Namibia who said that she feels fortunate to be a part of this program and receive the Postgraduate one-year Diploma in Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine as part of Merck Foundation capacity advancement program. The course has enabled her to learn the advanced scientific developments for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The course has helped her to serve her patients better.

I am very proud of Merck Foundation; we are doing a great job by providing postgraduate degrees for doctors like me who are eager to specialize to better serve their communities. I strongly believe this is the right strategy to address these chronic diseases and conditions.

Moreover, we are committed to enroll more doctors for these courses to be able to build a platform of hypertension and diabetes experts in underserved communities. As I mentioned these online courses is the right strategy to scale up our efforts to improve access to quality healthcare solutions widely and effectively especially during Coronavirus lockdown.


The program stayed in 35 countries such as ; list of countries: Bangladesh, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mauritius, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, UAE and Mozambique.

Moreover,  we are planning to scale up this program to Latin American countries in the near future.

Together we can lead Africa to a better future


Dr. Rasha Kelej
CEO of Merck Foundation
One of 100 Most Influential Africans


Dr. Rasha Kelej acknowledge some of Merck Foundation Alumni, future Diabetes and Hypertension experts in Africa and Asia


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