Merck Joins Kenya Ministry Of Health Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Center (DMI) to Celebrate The World Diabetes Day

By Merck KGaA
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NAIROBI, Kenya, November 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ --

• Merck supports diabetes medical education and community awareness as part of its Capacity Advancement Program – CAP in Kenya.

• Merck and DMI are aiming to free screen more than 2000 community members on the World Diabetes Day

Merck (http://www.merckgroup.com), a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical, chemical and life-science sectors, announces today its Diabetes Awareness and Prevention Campaign in partnership with Kenya Ministry of Health and Diabetes Management and Information center (DMI) on the occasion of the World Diabetes Day.

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Merck Diabetes Awareness and prevention campaign will be at Kenya Diabetes Management & Information Centre ( DMI Centre) Rose Avenue, Hurlingham, Off Argwings Kodhek Road Nairobi , Kenya.

The press conference will be at Serena hotel, frangipani on the 14th of November from 7 am to 10 am.

Dubbed 'Get Informed- Get Active- Get Healthier', the campaign aims to free screen more than 2000 community members for Diabetes in order to reverse this worrying trend by preventing or delaying the development of diabetes in the Kenyan population.

Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Pharma, said: “By partnering with Kenya Ministry of Health and DMI we hope to quickly achieve our objective of advancing healthcare capacities and contributing to social and economic development of Kenya. Our goal is to improve the healthcare sector in the country through educating and empowering those affected by diabetes on how to manage and prevent it in Kenya and the rest of Africa.”

Eva Muchemi, Executive Director of the Diabetes Management and Information Centre (DMI) said: “World diabetes day is celebrated on 14th of November of every year around the world to raise awareness among peoples about diabetes with a theme “Healthy Living and Diabetes”. In simple words we can explain Diabetes as a condition which occurs due to the problem in production and supply of insulin in the body.

In large towns or metro cities, most of the people don't eat healthy food, and also take less physical activity, that may be the major reason of this condition”.

Muchemi urged people to use diet food, proper exercises and medication to control Diabetes.

The lack of awareness on disease symptoms makes many diabetes patients to be diagnosed late when they have already developed complications such as blindness, foot ulcers or gangrene, heart diseases among others.

The Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Health James Macharia has applauded Merck for its Capacity Advancement Program that was launched successfully in 2013 in Kenya. “The Ministry of Health is supporting private public partnership with reputable companies like Merck to promote key health guidelines and raise awareness about diabetes so that people learn how to prevent it” .he added.

Rasha Kelej, Vice President, Head of Global Business Responsibility and Market Development said” Merck plays a great role in building healthcare capacity in Africa with special focus on diabetes and non- communicable diseases”.

The lack of financial means is not the only challenge in Africa, but a scarcity of disease awareness and trained health care personnel capable to tackle the prevention, diagnosis and management of diabetes at all levels of the health care systems.

“It was clear for us from the start that if not addressed as a matter of urgency, diabetes, will soon threaten the economic viability of Africa and sadly, many people who survive HIV and AIDS may die of diabetes complications”. She added.

Merck Capacity Advancement Program aims at expanding the professional capacity in Africa in the areas of research and development, clinical research, supply chain integrity and efficiency, pharmacovigilance, community awareness and medical education for students at the University of Nairobi and healthcare providers in rural areas with special focus on Diabetes.

Macharia emphasized “The cost of managing diabetes is enormous and places a huge burden on already strained healthcare system. The lack of awareness on disease symptoms makes many diabetes patients to be diagnosed late when they have already developed complications such as blindness, foot ulcers or gangrene, heart diseases among others”.

Merck is working with African countries to establish its Capacity Advancement Program and is actively engaged in a dialogue with local stakeholders in Kenya and Africa to launch a structured, country-specific and partnership-based agenda, which will add great value to society and the scientific community. In addition to awareness campaigns and medical education, Merck will continue to work with partners in Kenya and Africa at large to expand the capacity of professionals in diabetes management through its Capacity Advancement Program.

By end of 2018, more than 12,000 medical students from African and Asian universities of Health sciences will benefit from European-accredited clinical diabetes and chronic diseases management training, which is seeking to equip them with skills to avert the diabetes epidemic.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Merck KGaA.

Media contact:

Leonard Saika

Tel: +254722762037

e-mail: [email protected]

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Merck (http://www.merckgroup.com) is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. With its four divisions Merck Serono, Consumer Health, Performance Materials and Merck Millipore, Merck generated total revenues of € 11.1 billion in 2013. Around 39,000 Merck employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to further the success of our customers and to help meet global challenges. Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company – since 1668, the company has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70% interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany is holding the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States, where the company is known as EMD.