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Merck Aims to Support Free Diabetes Screening For More Than 15,000 Community Members in collaboration with Maharashtra University as Part of Its Capacity Advancement Program In India

By Merck KGaA
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MUMBAI, India, November 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ --

• On the occasion of World Diabetes Day, Merck is conducting Diabetes awareness camps at 15 medical colleges in Maharashtra University.

• Merck joins Maharashtra University and Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) to celebrate the World Diabetes Day (WDD).

• Merck aims to support free Diabetes screening for more than 15,000 community members across Maharashtra state.

• The event will be at J J Marg, Nagpada-Mumbai Central, Off Jijabhoy Road, Mumbai.

Merck (http://www.merckgroup.com), a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical, chemical and life-science sectors, rolls out today its Diabetes awareness and prevention campaign in collaboration with University Of Maharashtra in order to improve diabetes awareness and community health level in India.

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On the occasion of World Diabetes Day, Merck is supporting Diabetes awareness at 15 medical colleges in Maharashtra, aiming to screen and educate more than 15,000 community members across Maharashtra state. Dubbed 'Get Informed- Get Active- Get Healthier', the campaign aims to reverse this worrying trend by preventing or delaying the development of diabetes in the Indian population.

Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Pharma said: “Merck is pleased to collaborate with Maharashtra University of Health Sciences and Directorate of Medical Education & Research as part of our commitment to building healthcare capacity and providing sustainable access to high-quality health solutions and safe medicine in India”

Rasha Kelej, Vice President, Head of Global Business Responsibility and Market Development of Merck Serono emphasized “We are pleased to engage with DMER and Maharashtra University as we are celebrating the World Diabetes Day focusing on “Healthy Living and Diabetes” in order to improve access to better Diabetes care as part of our commitment to the social and economic development of India. Supporting Diabetes education and Diabetes community outreach programs of the University will contribute significantly to improving awareness, early diagnosis and prevention of the disease across India”.

Merck has provided the necessary support to conduct Diabetes free screening and education to each medical college in Maharashtra University during the week of the WDD to raise awareness about diabetes and empower community members on how to better manage and prevent the disease.

Dr Pravin Shingare, Director of Medical Education and Research, Government of Maharashtra 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. There is a strong, new argument that by combining screening to find pre-diabetes and early diabetes, along with management aimed to keep glucose levels as close to normal as possible, we can change the natural history of the disease and improve the lives of our patients. Hence, I urge all Indians to get screened and be active in order to get healthier”.

According to International Diabetes Federation- IDF, Type 2 diabetes is a global public health crisis that threatens the economies of all nations, particularly developing countries. Fueled by rapid urbanization, nutrition transition, and increasingly sedentary lifestyles, the epidemic has grown in parallel with the worldwide rise in obesity.

India has the second highest number of people with diabetes in the world. Several factors contribute to accelerated diabetes epidemic in India and Asian countries, including the “normal-weight metabolically obese” phenotype; high prevalence of smoking; high intake of refined carbohydrates (e.g., white rice); and dramatically decreased physical activity levels..

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Ali Sleiman, General Manager of Merck Serono ,India “We hope to maintain a long-standing relationship with Maharashtra University and DMER to improve the standard of healthcare and research capacity in order to tackle diabetes and non –communicable diseases in as a part of Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP).”

The 5 year program was kicked off in India last month and has been implemented successfully in 7 sub- Saharan countries which are Kenya, Uganda, Namibia Angola, Ghana, Tanzania and Mozambique and will further expand to other Sub-Saharan and Asian countries in 2014.

As part of the Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP), by end of 2015, more than 3,000 medical students from the Maharashtra University 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. Merck is planning to target more than 12,000 students by the end of 2018 expanding to more African and Asian countries.

Prof. Arun Jamkar, Vice Chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, MUHS emphasized” It gives us immense pleasure to engage the stakeholders in the field of medicine and diabetes in Maharashtra In joint collaboration with DMER and Merck to implement their Capacity Advancement Program, this Diabetes education and awareness program aim to provide awareness, guidelines and clinical practice for prevention, diagnosis and management of diabetes and its complications for Maharashtra community members and medical undergraduates of the 18 medical colleges in Maharashtra university.”

Padamshree Prof. Shashank Joshi, The president of Association of Physicians of India (API) welcomed the program “We are happy with our partnership with Merck to implement this program to support future diabetes health care in India. Diabetes mellitus is reaching potentially epidemic proportions in India. The level of morbidity and mortality due to diabetes and its potential complications are enormous, and pose significant healthcare burdens on both families and society”.

He added "Indians and Maharashtrians are uniquely predisposed to diabetes. WDD focuses this year on healthy living and diabetes, therefore it's time for Indians to eat a healthy traditional low caloric breakfast and do adequate physical activity to control diabetes and stay away from modern fast foods as well as sedentary habits”

In addition to medical education and awareness, Merck shall continue to work with partners in India and Asia at large to expand the capacity of professionals in diabetes management through its Capacity Advancement Program (CAP).

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.