By Ebere Agozie
Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Merck Foundation, says improved access to quality and equitable healthcare will foster social stability, individual prosperity and economic growth of nations.
Stangenberg-Haverkamp said this at the 2023, 10th edition of Merck Foundation-Africa-Asia-Luminary conference, organised in partnership with Tata Memorial Centre, Department of Atomic Energy and India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He noted that the foundation has offered scholarships to African health workers to strengthen the quality of healthcare deliveries to individuals and families across developing countries.
This, he said, would improve overall health and productivity in the continents.
“We are working with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, Academia, Policymakers, Medical Societies, Media and Art communities to lead Africa and Asia to a healthier and better future.
“This will not have been possible without the efforts and continuous support and dedication of these stakeholders and we will continue to work closely with them in our full capacity to overcome healthcare and social challenges in the continents.
“Over the years, I have visited many countries and personally met with many of the doctors who received these scholarships, they shared their experiences and the huge impact they have made on their patients and communities, after their graduation.
“I must say that I am impressed by their unwavering dedication and commitments. I will continue visiting and meeting with them in their countries to update myself about the impact of our programmes. Their success stories are inspirational,” he said.
Sen. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation, in her address, noted that the foundation has achieved great success in improving and amplifying efforts of health challenges year on year.
“We have come a long way and have together with our partners, made significant impacts by building healthcare and media capacity.
”We are also breaking infertility stigma, empowering women, especially childless women, supporting girl education and raising awareness on a wide range of social and health issues.
“I feel proud to share with you that we have provided more than 1,700 scholarships to young doctors from 50 countries in 42 critical and underserved specialties,” she said.
Kelej listed those critical areas to include Diabetes, Endocrinology, Oncology, Cardiovascular, Fertility Care, Embryology, Sexual & Reproductive Medicine, Internal Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Acute Medicine, Critical Care, Paediatric Emergency, Gastroenterology, Rheumatology, Clinical Psychiatry, Urology, Ophthalmology, general surgery, Trauma and Orthopaedic, Dermatology, Neonatal Care, and Pain Management, Emergency and Resuscitation.
“Others are Laparoscopic Surgical Skills, Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Advanced Surgical Practice, Neuroimaging for Research and many more,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 11 African First Ladies were among the dignitaries that graced the event. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Vincent Obi