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Over 720 Doctors Benefitted From Merck Foundation Scholarships – Rasha

The Merck Foundation has provided more than 720 scholarships for medical doctors from 43 African, Asian, and Latin American nations to pursue one-year Post-Graduate Diplomas and two-year Master’s degrees in Preventive Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Cardiovascular Medicine, and Diabetes Mastercourse in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. This information was revealed by Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Executive Officer of the Merck Foundation.

Speaking on Day 2 of the Merck Foundation’s 9th Africa Asia luminary Conference in Dubai, Kelej said the foundation vowed to keep funding medical specialties that are underrepresented and in high demand, and that it provided scholarships to commemorate World Diabetes Day in a positive and original way.

According to her, the programme ranges from one-year diploma and two-year Master’s Degree programs in Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, as well as a ‘Master’s course in the Clinical Management of Diabetes in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

She said the Foundation also created a song remix tagged: “ No more Diabetes “ by singers and musicians from Ghana, Mauritius, and Mozambique and a children’s storybook: “Sugar-Free” in three languages English, French and Portuguese to raise awareness and create a culture shift about Diabetes prevention and early detection across African continents.

For her, the song and storybooks are gifts from Merck Foundation to the communities and partners to mark World Diabetes Day.

Senator Kelej promised further collaboration with the African First Ladies to promote awareness of the deadly disease.

Continuing, she said pledged commitment to work closely with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Media outlets, and representatives and artists to ensure that the song and storybook are distributed across countries.

“I will personally consider this song as the official song of our Diabetes Day celebration and I wish that all our partners do the same.

“Our strong platform of Merck Foundation Alumni, who upon completion of their respective courses, have established and will also be able to establish diabetes clinics in their health centres or hospitals with the aim of preventing and managing the condition in their respective communities. This has created a huge impact as they are from different provinces in each country which makes the impact nationwide and not only within the capitals, I am proud of this outstanding milestone,”  Kelej explained.

It could be recalled that Merck Foundation in its bids to raise awareness about the critical social and health issues of the continent, has trained more than 2,200 media persons in more than 35 countries, and also launches annually, 8 different Awards for best media coverage, fashion designs, films, and songs.

Speaking, Merck Foundation Alumni from Botswana, Dr. Bobby Kgosiemang, who completed his MSc in Diabetes said: “I am grateful to Merck Foundation for providing me with a very unique opportunity to be a part of this very beneficial course. It has helped me to advance my clinical knowledge and enabled me to serve the people of my country better, and also advocate for increased prevention and early detection.”

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