|As part of strategy to grow its market share in Nigeria and West African, Merck – a leading science and technology company has announced the opening of its first office in Nigeria being the largest African Economy.
Announcing its opening on Wednesday by Merck CEO-elect, Stefan Oschmann, and Merck President of North & West Africa, Karim Bendhaou said Nigeria was chosen because of it fastest growing economies and to see how their services can contribute to their growth.
Oschmann noted that, “Nigeria is an evident choice for us. With a population that is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ideas, this is a perfect match with Merck. Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and we believe that through our high quality, innovative Healthcare, Life Science specialty products and services we can contribute to that growth.”
Similarly, the General Manager of Biopharma in Nigeria Charles Ajibo, added “Nigeria is a very important market for us and this will only increase in the coming years. We plan to expand our current portfolio in a steady pace and introduce many more products that are targeted to the unmet medical needs of Nigerian patients and help them improve their daily lives.”
Merck products have already been present in Nigeria for several years and the company has also announced that this portfolio was expanded with the launch of the Muse Auto CD4/CD4% System(1), a compact and easy to use HIV/AIDS Diagnostic Kit, which is able to monitor the progression of the HIV/AIDS virus in patients.
The company has also been working closely with the Nigerian government and international organizations to increase access to health solutions in the Country: “Merck and the Federal Ministry of Health organized a panel discussion on November 17th that focused on the role the private sector can play in helping countries like Nigeria accelerate progress on Universal Health Coverage and the importance of forging partnerships to deliver health solutions for the population.
It also took a closer look at the challenges of scaling up and sustaining public-private partnerships and private-private partnerships that seek to improve access to affordable and quality care.
Furthermore, as part of its commitment to improving access to healthcare in developing countries, the company is supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) in the fight against schistosomiasis in Africa. Merck has donated over 290 million praziquantel tablets in its Merck Praziquantel Donation Program where more than 64 million patients have been treated, mostly school children.
“Millions of children worldwide still suffer from schistosomiasis. The disease prevents them from learning and weakens development potential in the affected countries. We want to give children new opportunities while at the same time promoting economic growth and making a brighter future possible,” said Oschmann during a visit of the Karon-Majigi Primary School in Abuja where he attended a distribution of Praziquantel tablets.
Nigeria is currently the largest recipient of the Merck Praziquantel Donation Program. Praziquantel is the most effective treatment for the parasitic worm disease schistosomiasis. Until now, Merck has donated nearly 71,000,000 tablets to WHO for Nigeria and another 34 million will follow by the end of this year.
Merck, within the scope of its responsible corporate governance, is committed to improving access to health for underserved populations in low-and middle-income countries. Health, along with environment and culture, represent Merck’s strategic spheres of activities that are part of the company’s Corporate Responsibility Strategy.