Merck flags off new equipment to tackle HIV/AIDS, opens country office
Worried by the increasing number of Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) patients in Africa, a leading German science and technology company, Merck, has launched its innovative Auto CD4/CD4% system known as Merck Muse, a portable instruments for monitoring the progression of the virus in adults and children.
The new system introduced by Merck will seek to address the problem of early detection, which is one of the causes of the increasing incidence of the disease. Many patients in this part of the world, the report stated, lack access to regular medical care and the long distances from patient’s village to the nearest hospital, particularly those in rural areas.
Speaking at the unveiling, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO-elect), Merck, Prof. Stefan Oschmann said: “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 and innovative Healthcare and Life Science specialty products and services we can contribute to that growth.”
Also speaking, General Manager for Biopharma, Nigeria, Charles Ajibo, said: “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 President, North and West Africa, Karim Bendhaou, further added that together with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) was sponsored and 55 Minilabs delivered to the country.
Meanwhile, Professor of Laboratory Medicine, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Yaoundé, Cameroon, Dr. Francois-Xavier Mbopi-Keou, in his presentation explained that the Muse Auto CD4/CD4% system combines a compact instrument with a unique assay and automated gating and acquisition software to easily monitor patients, CD4 T lymphocytes.
He further expressed that 70% of the population in Africa CDs live in rural areas. “We should make sure we take the technology to those remote areas. This was established as a sort of contribution to healthcare delivery. We can take this technology to the rural Nigeria, to Africa as a whole” he added.