Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) is a 5-year program aiming to expand professional capacity in developing countries in the areas of research and development, advocacy building, supply-chain integrity and efficiency, pharmacovigilance, medical education, and community awareness.
CAP includes seven signature initiatives:
1. Merck More Than a Mother
"Merck More Than a Mother" Campaign will not only provide medical education and awareness for medical students and general practitioners but will also support governments to define policies to improve access to safe and effective fertility care; address the need for interventions to reduce stigmatization and social suffering of infertile women; and raise awareness about male infertility and the necessity for a team approach to family building among couples.
"Merck More Than a Mother" Initiative addresses together with local stakeholders, the key challenges that are associated with resource-constrained settings such as prevention of infertility, education and self-development, assisted reproductive technology (ART) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) regulation, geographic barriers, reproductive rights and over-population and limited resources arguments.
2. Merck Universities Program
Through our Capacity Advancement Program (CAP), we are striving to improve the quality of and access to diabetes and cancer therapy in Africa and Asia. We also seek to combat infertility, as well as to increase awareness and prevention of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer.
The goal is to raise awareness of these conditions by educating healthcare providers, as well as to support healthcare systems with measures to prevent, diagnose and manage them effectively.
In 2015, more than 9,000 medical students in partnership with African universities such as University of Nairobi, Kenya; Makerere University, Uganda, Namibia University; University of Ghana, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Muhimbili University in Tanzania, Eduardo Mondelane University in Mozambique and Agostinho Neto University, Angola and in addition to Asian universities such as Maharashtra University in India and University of Indonesia will benefit from European-accredited clinical chronic diseases management training, which is seeking to equip them with skills to better manage and prevent these diseases.
Merck is planning to target more than 25,000 students by the end of 2018 expanding to more African, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries with special focus on non–communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and fertility management.
3. UNESCO - Merck Africa Research Summit (MARS)
Merck Capacity Advancement Program has kicked off an initiative on building research capacity in Africa. This signature initiative known as MARS aims to bring together researchers from across Africa to discuss the generation, sharing and dissemination of research data and to prepare the road ahead for Africa’s development as an international hub for research excellence and scientific innovation.
4. Merck Cancer Access Program
Merck Cancer Access Program aims to increase the number of medical oncologists hence improve access to cancer care in Africa. The Merck Cancer Access Program is an outcome of Merck Cancer Control Program (MCCP) that kicked off in 2015, in partnership with top global oncology experts, African universities and ministries of health to assist in developing and implementing comprehensive cancer prevention and control programs and to educate medical students and healthcare providers about cancer early detection and prevention. The program will be augmented by community awareness campaigns to contribute to the reduction of cancer incidences and improve survival rates.
5. Merck Community Awareness Program
Merck has conducted several community awareness and prevention campaigns to raise awareness about diabetes and cancer.
In 2015, Merck announced a pan African initiative “Merck Africa Diabetes Day” to provide 300,000 community members with free screening and education about diabetes across the continent.
The campaign has already kicked off first in Kenya and Uganda and will extend to more African countries. In Kenya, it is in partnership with Kenya Diabetes Management Initiative, Ministry of Health and the County Government of Nairobi.
In Asia, Merck Diabetes Day has been rolled out in India and Indonesia in partnership with Maharashtra University of Health Sciences & University of Indonesia respectively.
The campaign will be accompanied by social and traditional media campaigns to raise awareness about diabetes.
6. Merck Diabetes & Hypertension Awards
Merck has launched the “Merck Diabetes Awards” and “Merck Hypertension Awards” in more than 30 African and Asian universities with the aim to build a platform of diabetes and hypertension experts across the globe as part of the Merck Capacity Advancement Program and our commitment to building healthcare capacity and improving access to quality and sustainable healthcare solutions in developing countries.
7. Merck STEM Program for Women and Youth
The Merck 'STEM Program' supports access to knowledge and education in the fields of Science, Technology with special focus on women and youth. Through this program Merck Foundation will continue to empower young researchers which will raise the level of scientific research in Africa and encourages in particular young women researchers to pursue their dreams, work for improving access to health solutions and make a difference in the continent.