The Merck Foundation has committed to a long term partnership with the Government of Tanzania to build healthcare capacity and improve access to innovative and equitable healthcare solutions across the country.

Merck Foundation is a philanthropic organisation that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology.

The foundation’s efforts are primarily focused on improving access to innovative healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth.

As part of the partnership with Tanzania, the Merck Foundation will focus on providing one year and two years surgical and paediatric oncology fellowship programme in India, Europe and University of Nairobi for Tanzanian doctors to improve the cancer care in the country.

They will also focus on empowering infertile women through access to information, awareness, health, change of mind set and economic empowerment across the country through their ‘Merck more than a Mother’ campaign.

“The prevalence of infertility is so high in Africa, one out of every four couples in reproductive age suffers from infertility and yet around 85% of those cases are due to untreated infectious disease which can prevented, hence raising awareness about prevention through local media and social media is very critical,” said CEO of the Merck Foundation, Rasha Kelej.

“It’s important to raise awareness about male infertility because infertility affects women and men equally and yet women are the ones who are solely blamed, discriminated and mistreated in their communities. The campaign will address this topic and encourage men to discuss openly their infertility and share the journey of infertility diagnosis and treatment with their wives,” continued Kelej.

Tanzanian Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, commended the role Merck Foundation plays in healthcare capacity building in Africa and welcomed them to Tanzania. “Tanzania welcomes Merck Foundation to the country, we are happy to partner with such a reputable organisation. I will personally work with them to empower these underprivileged women socially and economically across Tanzania and the rest of the world to create a culture shift needed to respect and appreciate women as productive members in society.”

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