German-based pharmaceutical company Merck plans to extend its latest technological innovations across the African continent in the next five years.
The company is entering new markets in Africa and expanding its operations in SA, Kenya, Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Nigeria.
Merck’s executive board visited SA last week, as one of 10 African countries it spent time in to emphasise the company’s commitment to invest in its latest innovations, which focus on eradicating and creating awareness about illnesses such as malaria, HIV/Aids and diabetes.
“The entrepreneurial spirit in Africa and the creativity to come up with out-of-the-boxsolutions is simply amazing,” said Stefan Oschmann, CEO-elect of Merck.
He said in a world increasingly shaped by digital solutions, this innovative spirit is enabling Africa to spearhead technological solutions in areas such as e-health,mobile banking and community information.
According to Merck, one such innovation is the Muse Auto CD4/CD4% system, a portable instrument for monitoring the progression of HIV/Aids. Recently introduced by the company, this system was developed for rapid, simple and accurate monitoring of T cells in adults and children.
The company says another example in which they are embracing local innovations to help people in Africa is through the Diabetes Online Risk Assessment (DORA) campaign. A joint initiative with pharmacists and external diabetes management partners, DORA focuses on the early detection of diabetes. It allows people to take part in an online test, using either smartphones or computers to find out in a few clicks whether they are at risk of diabetes.
“Merck is committed to using the latest innovation, in order to support healthy families, healthy communities and healthy economies in Africa,” said Karl-Ludwig Kley, chairman of the executive board and chief executive officer of Merck.
He said the company aims to more than double, by 2020, the sales of the latest technological devices geared towards fighting various diseases on the continent.
Five years ago, Merck partnered with Africa’s health and academic institutions to implement the Merck Capacity Advancement Program.
The company says the online programme is a global education initiative to expand healthcare capacity and improve access to innovative healthcare solutions. It has been rolled out in a number of African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola and more.
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