Merck Foundation Oncology Fellowship Program



Merck Foundation Oncology Fellowship Program focuses on building professional cancer care capacity with the aim to increase the limited number of oncologists in Africa.

The objective of the program is to improve access to cancer care solutions by developing a Multidisciplinary Oncology Care team in each country (like Medical, Surgery, Pediatric, Gynae, Radiation Oncologists, Radiation Technician, Nursing, Pathologist) as an integrated team approach can lead to better outcomes.

The Oncology Fellowship Program provides One, two- and three-years fellowship and master’s degree programs in India, Egypt, Kenya and Malaysia in partnership with African Ministries of Health, Local Governments and Academia


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Merck Foundation Alumni

“The Kenyan government has made Cancer a national disaster, setting up regional cancer centres, and buying equipment worth billions of shillings. However, the human resource capacity required for managing cancer is lagging behind. We need the personnel – the Oncologists to complement efforts by the government and other organizations so that we can effectively tackle this menace.

The two year Merck Oncology Fellowship program in partnership with the University of Nairobi is the first Medical Oncology Fellowship program to be conducted in Sub Saharan Africa. It is the beacon of hope for all Africans.”

Dr. Damas explained “When the opportunity of Medical oncology fellowship was announced at the Health Ministry of Rwanda, I immediately showed my interest in it.  Cancer care in Rwanda is still a scarcity, for slight over 11 million of Rwandans, we have probably only one Oncologist. Cancer is still a death sentence for many Rwandans who cannot access the necessary cancer care that is often sought abroad.”
Not all solutions will come in one day, but for my patients and myself, this is a hopeful step towards achieving adequate cancer care in Rwanda and the region. I have a lot of expectations from the program and what to achieve after the training. I hope to become a leader in cancer treatment, researcher, and advocate for accessible treatments especially for underprivileged communities at risk.”

I sincerely appreciate the Merck Africa Oncology Fellowship as one of the many Merck Foundation initiatives to touch lives around Africa and in the world. 

"Namibia population is 2,5 million, and more than 3000 new cancer cases get diagnosed on a yearly basis. I am confident that by the end of the one-year fellowship, I will be better equipped to manage cancer patients through preventions, early diagnosis, treatment and palliative care. I sincerely want to thank Merck Foundation for this great program that will transform the lives of cancer patients and their families. Please continue your great work."

Coming from a humble background, and having worked at Uganda Cancer Institute since 2010, initially as a volunteer, I have enjoyed helping our cancer patients many of whom come from less privileged communities.

Merck Africa Oncology Fellowship program is significant to me because it is giving me an opportunity to learn and improve the way I have been managing cancer patients.

A bond with Merck Foundation as an alumnus is going to keep me updated with new developments in cancer care and exposure to a variety of learning seminars and workshops. All these and other benefits mean that my patients in Uganda will get better services and my dream of extending quality care to those in need of it will become a reality.

“I am a faculty member of Addis Ababa University working at Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital department of paediatrics and child health hemato-oncology unit. I am general paediatrician serving kids suffering from cancer with no additional formal training in paediatric oncology. Merck Africa Fellowship Program will help me to update and upgrade my knowledge and skill in Paediatric Oncology; this helps me to give the appropriate and improved quality of care to cancer patients and helps us to expand the service.
Ethiopia is a country with approximately 100 million population. Currently, the country has three oncologists that serve the stated population. As I am faculty in the university, it will help the country to improve training program by strengthening and expanding Paediatric oncology fellowship program; this will increase the number of paediatric oncologists and improve access for kids with cancer to get timely improved and appropriate care.”

“Cancer is a growing concern in Tanzania, and limited facilities and few healthcare providers against the high rising number of patients diagnosed at advanced stages pose a great challenge to a developing country like Tanzania. Unfortunately, there are only two medical oncologists in a country of approximately 50 million people, one studied in Italy and another in China. We need more specialized oncologists in this field. Thank you, Merck Foundation for starting this program!! However, it is only through unique opportunities such as the Merck Africa Oncology Fellowship Program we can make the needed change in our societies to improve patient access to cancer care.” Christina Malichewe said.