FIGHTING DIABETES: Dr Kai Beckmann, Executive Board Member Merck, Hon Sara Opendi, Minister of Health Uganda and Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Ofiicer

Ten students from Asia and Africa including one George Tinka from Makerere University College of Health Sciences have won awards granted by Merck, a leading science and technology company.

“I am grateful and happy that Merck has provided us with this great opportunity to advance our knowledge in diabetes. This opportunity of increasing the number of diabetes specialists will step up efforts in the fight against this ‘silent killer’, especially here in Africa where the burden of the disease is skyrocketing day and night. This will help save many lives,” Mr Tinka said.

Other awardees of the ‘Every Day is a Diabetes Day’ Award, include Elisha Kipkemoi Ngetich of the College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya;  Ralph Obure of the College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya; Antara Bagchi of the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Nagpur, India; Samuel Mucheru of the Aga Khan University, Kenya; Gloria Ani-asamoah of Accra, Ghana; Nujood Al Shirawi an Intern at the Dubai Health Authority, United Arab Emirates; Najmah Kuddah, a General Practitioner, University of Indonesia, Indonesia; Dominic Oduro-Donkor of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, Ghana and Ken Munene Nkonge of the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

Sana Laraib Daud and Zoubia Fathima from United Arab Emirates receive their awards from Belen Garijo, CEO, Merck Healthcare.
Sana Laraib Daud and Zoubia Fathima from United Arab Emirates receive their awards from Belen Garijo, CEO, Merck Healthcare.

The awardees are part of a group of more than 5000 medical undergraduates who have benefited from the fourth edition of the Merck Capacity Advancement Program (Merck-CAP) which covered eight African countries and is in partnership with Makerere University, Uganda; Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; University of Nairobi, Kenya; Muhimbili University, Tanzania; University of Ghana; University of Namibia; Eduardo Mondelane University in Mozambique and Agostinho Neto University, Angola. In Asia the tours are being conducted with Maharashtra University, India and University of Indonesia.

The Merck-CAP was launched in April 2016, aimed at building a platform of Diabetes across the globe, and the announcement of awardees comes on the eve of the World Diabetes Day (WDD), to be held under the theme: ‘Eyes on Diabetes’.

Ugandan community queing to benifit from The free diabetes screening and the Cancer education at Merck Campaign
Ugandan community queing to benifit from The free diabetes screening and the Cancer education at Merck Campaign

“Merck plays an important role in building Diabetes Care capacity in partnership with African and Asian Universities. Today marks an important day in the fight against Diabetes as we celebrate World Diabetes Day. In this context, we have announced ten Diabetes Award Winners from Africa and Asia” says Belen Garijo, Member of Merck’s Executive Board and CEO Merck Healthcare.

The scientific committee received over 500 concept submission applications from universities in Africa and Asia and 10 winners were selected for the award. The winner from each university has been granted a one year postgraduate diabetes diploma in South Wales University, United Kingdom.

Merck invited all medical students to apply for the “Merck Diabetes Award” 2016  and students across African and Asian medical universities were asked to submit a concept paper on how to improve diabetes early detection and prevention in their countries and how to encourage their society, scientific community, local authorities, media and relevant stakeholders to think and act on diabetes every day.

Ahmed Reja, the President of International Diabetes Federation, Africa and President of Ethiopia Diabetes Association emphasized: “We are very happy to partner with Merck to drive their strategy to build diabetes capacity and roll out the Merck Diabetes Award across the continent. The awards encourage the students to be more innovative and take a leadership position to fight diabetes in their own country.”

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