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Merck Adopts e-Learning to Build Capacity of Africa Staff in the Fight Against Diabetes

By CIO East Africa

Dr Stefan Oschmann and Prof Sidat Mohsin dean of medical school at Eduardo Mondelane University Mozambique.

Merck, the global pharmaceutical and chemical company, has started its second year of its five year project to provide European Accredited Clinical Diabetes Management course for medical and pharmacy students in African Universities by introducing e-Learning.

The German pharmaceutical and chemical giant is implementing a CSR strategy that features a medical education Africa tour to improve diabetes healthcare in Africa.

At the beginning of September 2014, Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) kicked off its second year of the Clinical Diabetes Management Program to medical and pharmacy students in University of Nairobi. Merck will provide the same course to medical students of Makerere University, Uganda and University of Namibia.

At the end of September 2014, Merck CAP will provide the same course addressing chronic diseases management focusing on Diabetes and hypertension. The course will be offered in Portuguese by International and local professors to medical students at University Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique and Katyavala Bwila University, Angola.

In November 2014, Merck will head to Tanzania where they will provide the clinical diabetes management course to medical students of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Science before extending the same to University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana.

Every healthcare provider in those countries and the rest of Africa will have free access to all the lectures on a dedicated website and will be able to undergo an assessment to obtain CME hours on line.

Dr Stefan Oschmann, Merck Pharma CEO emphasized: “Merck is supporting E- Health which can definitely contribute to bringing healthcare to unserved or underserved populations; increasing the effectiveness and reducing the costs of healthcare delivery; improving the effectiveness of public health programmes and research; preventing illness and managing and treating chronic diseases.”

“Merck is confident that supporting this E- learning platform for the diabetes educational program will definitely improve the access to innovative and high quality healthcare solution and disease awareness which will contribute significantly to the economical and social development in Africa,”he added.

Rasha Kelej, the head of Global Market Development and Business Responsibility of Merck Serono said: "Using the power of mobile and internet technologies to share information via SMS or dedicated website to healthcare providers and the general public across Africa especially in rural areas, will help to increase access to training, education and raise awareness on the issues of diabetes so that they learn to better prevent, diagnose and manage the disease, such as the website for Africa Continues Medical Education (CME) tour for physicians in rural areas."

In 2014, Merck aims to reach 2,000 students and rural healthcare providers so that ultimately they become Diabetes ambassadors across Africa. In 2015, the programme will be extended to more universities across Africa such as Nigeria and Ethiopia and in Asia such as Indonesia and India.

Merck Capacity Advancement Program – CAP aims to reach at least 9,000 students by 2018, with information on how to better diagnose, manage and prevent the deadly silent disease.

Diabetes is one of the rising killer diseases globally, claiming one life every eight seconds and a limb lost at every 30 seconds, according to reports from World Health Organization and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

The challenges faced by African countries in tackling diabetes are well known: services for the care of chronic diseases are poorly organized; public awareness about the diabetes is limited, and well-structured education programmes for patients and health professionals are not available

In addressing these challenges, Merck has shown consistent approach to their corporate social responsibility agenda in Africa since 2013.

(Source....)

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