The 8th edition of the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary kicked off yesterday (Tuesday), with powerful presentations from various presenters speaking on ways to improve Africa’s healthcare system.
The virtual event is being hosted by Zambia and will run until the 29th of April.
Addressing delegates, Merck Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Senator Dr Rasha Kelej said her organization is committed to working with African governments through the First Ladies to improve health services.
“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we could not conduct the annual conference as planned, but we are pleased to have it as a videoconference, where more than 32,000 participants from more than 70 countries can meet.
“We are here to discuss strategies and solutions for health challenges in their countries with the aim to contribute to improving access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions and building healthcare capacity in many critical and underserved medical fields such as; diabetes, cardiovascular, endocrinology, cancer, research, fertility care, women health, sexual & reproductive care, respiratory medicines, and acute medicines,” said Dr Kelej.
Over the years, more than 1100 doctors from 42 countries have benefited from Merck Foundation scholarships in various fields, and in her remarks, Dr Kelej revealed that more doctors are set to benefit.
“More doctors will join in the next few years to benefit from more scholarships in more specialties such as: internal medicine, gastroenterology, mental health, orthopedic trauma, paediatric, emergency medicine, dermatology, neonatal medicine, pain management, psychiatry, and clinical microbiology amongst many others.”
Dr Kelej added that the conference will also define interventions to break the stigma around infertility in general and infertile women in specific and to support girl education.