13 Sep 2014 09:10am
WINDHOEK, 13 SEP (NAMPA) - Pharmaceutical company Merck earlier this month commenced with the second year of its Clinical Diabetes Management Programme for medical and pharmacy students at the University of Namibia (Unam).
The programme, carried out through Mercks Capacity Advancement Programme (CAP), forms part of the companys five-year project to provide medical and pharmacy students at African universities with European Accredited Clinical Diabetes Management courses by introducing E-Learning.
It is also being offered at Makerere University in Uganda and Nairobi University in Kenya.
A media statement issued by the African Press Organisation (APO) on behalf of Merck this week said the company is implementing a well-structured and coherent Corporate Social Responsibility strategy that features a medical education Africa tour to improve diabetes healthcare on the continent.
Merck Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Stefan Oschmann was quoted in the statement as saying E-health can contribute to bringing healthcare to underserved populations, increasing effectiveness while reducing the costs of healthcare delivery.
The E-learning platform for the diabetes educational programme improves access to innovative and high quality healthcare solutions and disease awareness, which will contribute significantly to the economic and social development in Africa, it added.
It also improves the effectiveness of public health programmes and research, preventing illness and managing and treating chronic diseases.
In March 2013, Merck Germany announced the launch of its CAP in Namibia. This was after conducting a stakeholders committee meeting with the principals, deans and faculty members of African universities on board to discuss the learning gaps of medical students and healthcare professional in their countries with special focus on diabetes. Dr Oschmann chaired this committee at Unam.
Through the programme, Merck aims to reach 2 000 students and rural healthcare providers so that ultimately they can become diabetes ambassadors across Africa.
In 2015, the programme will be extended to more universities across Africa such as those in Nigeria and Ethiopia; and in Asia such as Indonesia and India.
The company ultimately aims to reach at least 9 000 students by 2018 with information on how to better diagnose, manage and prevent the deadly silent disease.
Merck has longstanding experience in managing this disease. Therefore, we are willing to share our knowledge with healthcare practitioners and medical and pharmacy students in Africa. On this we are partnering with ministries of health, health science universities, local research institutions, patient associations, community and media in supporting the development of the educational programme to cover all the learning gaps of the disease management, Oschmann was quoted as saying.
The statement noted that according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the number of people with diabetes in Africa will double by 2035.
Merck is a German chemical and pharmaceutical company which was founded in 1668, making it the world's oldest operating chemical and pharmaceutical company.