AFRICA – Leading science and technology company Merck has announced the upcoming launch of the Africa Cancer Care program to enhance colorectal cancer diagnosis across Africa and new thyroid awareness program dubbed ThyroAfrica to spread disease awareness.

Merck confirmed that the Africa Cancer Care program will be launched by the end of June by creating hubs of RAS (RAT Sarcoma) testing, a gene mutation analysis in colorectal cancer, in African countries such as Kenya and Nigeria to guide treatment and determine outcomes.

The cancer care program will also help to counteract the rising demand for specialist care especially with the existing healthcare facilities that require the scaling of resources leading to the rise in medical tourism across the continent as individuals seek specialized care elsewhere.

The health initiative will also boost access to medication and provide HCP capacity-building programs including high quality trainings to oncologists, pathologists, nurses to support diagnosis and treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer in Africa.

Merck, through the ThyroAfrica program, will establish a collaborative partnership with the endocrinology and thyroid disease societies in Africa to increase disease awareness via communication channels for mass reach and offer the proper link for thyroid-stimulating hormone test.

Merck Africa Bureau will leverage its technological and scientific capacity to strategically expand healthcare access and awareness programs across the African continent as well as strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries.

The access and awareness programs will further contribute to Merck’s vision to be one of the leading healthcare partners in sub-Saharan Africa by working with Non-Governmental Organizations and governments to build and strengthen sustainable health systems.

Furthermore, Merck has partnered with the African Federation for Fertility Societies (AFFS) to jointly work on an agenda to further develop educational training programs for healthcare professionals aimed at improving access to high-quality infertility care for patients in Africa.

AFFS has sought support from Merck in order to develop a regional patient awareness campaign to be launched later this year. They are hosting a multi-national advisory board to gain insights on educational gaps for healthcare professionals in AFFS member societies in African countries.

Merck will also support capacity-building of biologics manufacturing and development in Africa by actively providing expertise to Regulatory Agencies and sharing knowledge about the use of quality products for audit purposes.

In addition, the company has reaffirmed its commitment to the fight against Malaria and the neglected tropical disease (NTD) schistosomiasis and has partnered with the World Health organization to provide up to 250 million tablets of praziquantel per year to treat mainly school-aged children in Africa.

Merck aims to accelerate the business transformation of its operations in Africa through various programs intended to fight counterfeit medicines, invest in technology transfer, support supply chain sustainability and localization as well as decrease fragmentation of the market.

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