Merck Foundation Partners With Egypt To Build Capacity For African Doctor To Handle Cancer

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany partners with Egypt’s National Cancer Institute to provide Master Degree in Medical Oncology for African doctors.

This initiative is a part of Merck Foundation’s ‘Merck Cancer Access Program’ that has been initiated by the Merck Foundation to increase the limited number of oncologists across Africa.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation said they have partnered with Egypt because of their experience in handling cancer cases on the African Continent.

“We are pleased to announce our partnership with the National Cancer Institute, Egypt, which is considered as the benchmark of Cancer Care in Northern Africa and Middle East. We are committed to improving patient’s access to care. We currently have 5 students from Ghana, Namibia, Liberia and Rwanda, registered with the Master Degree program in Medical Oncology under Merck Cancer Access Program.  We plan to expand this program to more African countries like, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Senegal, Uganda and Kenya. We believe that our partnership in Egypt will go a long way and together we can play a vital role in Africa.” She said.

She added by explaining that   building the  capacity of African Doctors to handle cancer related cases  is vital, since lack of professional skills in specialized medical fields  is still  a key challenge in Africa and developing countries world over.

Prof. Abdel-Rahman Zekri, Vice Dean of National Cancer Institute, said the building of capacity will play a big role towards the fight of cancer on the African continent.

“We are pleased to announce our partnership with Merck Foundation to support in building cancer care capacity in the rest of the African countries. The collaboration in the field of academics will effectively enhance the capabilities to prevent, detect and treat the rising cases of cancer in these countries,” he said.

Prof. Hatem Ahmed Aboulkassem, Dean of National Cancer Institute emphasized that “The scarcity of trained healthcare personnel capable of tackling prevention, early diagnosis and management of cancer is a bigger challenge, and therefore, this partnership will prove to be very beneficial for many African countries.”


Merck Foundation has initiated the following activities in partnership with academia, ministries of health and the offices of First Ladies in more than 35 countries.

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