<h4 style="text-align: left;">Dr. Rasha Kelej, the most influential Egyptian in Africa and CEO of the Merck Foundation, confirmed that she is keen on continuing the free scholarships program for training graduates of faculties of medicine to become oncologists.<\/h4>\r\nKelej revealed that some African countries did not have a single oncologist specialized in this field, which leads to tremendous suffering to many African oncology patients who are compelled to travel abroad or wait for death without treatment.\r\n\r\nKelej said that Egypt is able to make history in Africa by training the first oncologists and cancer care teams in countries like The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Liberia, Guinea Conakry, Central African Republic, Chad and Niger.\r\n\r\nDoctors of these nations got training through our cooperation with the National Cancer Institute in Cairo.\r\n\r\nKelej went on to say that her foundation continues in partnership with the first African ladies and African health ministries, to provide a fellowship ranging from two to three years in the specialty of oncology to obtain a master's degree for African doctors with the aim of increasing the limited number of oncologists across the continent.\r\n\r\nShe stressed that our strategy is to develop a multidisciplinary team for oncology in every country.\u00a0She said that she is proud of making history in Africa by training the first oncologists and first cancer care teams in many African countries.\r\n\r\nShe indicated that many scholarships s are provided for Upper Egypt physicians, especially in regions that suffer from the lack of oncology centers. Egyptian doctors can apply for these free scholarships through the Merck Foundation website.\r\n\r\nSheShe poin out that the foudafound has successfully trained 80 oncologists from 26 countries through the Cancer Access Program in partnership with the first African ladies and health ministries in these countries.\r\n\r\nAccording to the recent data, the burden of cancer in Africa is increasing.\r\n\r\nRecent estimates indicate that 1.06 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed annually and this number is expected to rise by 102% to 2.12 million by 2040.\r\n\r\nWhile the burden of cancer in Africa is increasing rapidly and there a very limited number of oncologists work in African countries. Also there is a lack of investment in building professional cancer care capabilities across the continent.\r\n\r\nKelej added that the initiative is continuing because the goal is to build the capacity to care for cancer patients.\r\n\r\nThe foundation plans to expand it to train more doctors in more African countries through cooperation with more medical and educational centers in India, Egypt, Kenya and Malaysia.\r\n\r\nThe foundation has so far trained, through the Merck Cancer Access Program in Africa, more than 80 oncologists in 26 countries: Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.\r\n\r\nDr. Christina Maleshoy, a graduate of the Merck Foundation Scholarship Program and the first oncologist from Tanzania, said that she is happy with her participation in this program and her main goal now is to work to provide high-quality, affordable care to oncology patients who have never had anyone to care for them before.\r\n\r\n" Fatima Bata Baru, First Lady of the Gambia, said that she is very proud of this program, which has added great value to her country. The Gambia, by providing specialized training to my country's first oncologist.\r\n\r\nLiberia's first lady, Clare Waye, said that the Merck Foundation is the first institution to offer this valuable specialized training to the first oncologists in Liberia.\r\n\r\nThey also provide training to the first fertility specialists, embryologists and diabetes specialists in my country, Liberia.\r\n\r\nIn partnership with the office of the first lady, the Merck Foundation will also offer a one-year diploma and two-year master's degree in respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, and endocrine drugs in Liberia Africa.