Invested today in Africa's health tomorrow

MSD is a global healthcare company with an over 125-year history of working to make a difference. Our commitment to improving the health and wellness of people and animals is exemplified in our long-standing investment in Sub-Saharan Africa. From providing more than 3.4 billion treatments to eliminate river blindness to developing the world’s first globally approved Ebola vaccine to protecting animal health with over 4 billion doses over the past 10 years, MSD has demonstrated this commitment by achieving significant health impact. And while we reflect on our achievements over the past decade, MSD recognizes the need to remain invested to provide leading innovations and solutions for Sub-Saharan Africa’s health today and for the decade to come.

Invent for life

Scientific curiosity drives us to invent solutions to some of the world’s most challenging diseases – curiosity that leads, for example, to the first FDA approved preventative HPV Vaccine that is helping to eliminate cervical cancer – one of the leading cancers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Invent for life

Learn more

Help Rwanda wipe out cervical cancer

1.3M HPV vaccine doses donated

93% of target population received the vaccination during the first year of the program

In 2011, Rwanda had decided to make preventing cervical cancer a health priority by launching its national vaccination campaign against human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer. The government agreed to a partnership with MSD to provide the HPV vaccinations for the first three years at no cost to demonstrate that it was feasible to introduce the vaccine in developing countries so that GAVI – a global health alliance to increase vaccines in low income countries – would lend their support to on-going vaccinations against HPV. In 2014, GAVI and the Rwandan government entered into a co-financing model to continue the first national HPV vaccination program in Africa.

MSD partners with WHO in largest maternal health clinical trial

15,200 women in the region enrolled in the clinical trial

4 SSA countries participated

Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda

MSD for Mothers, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Ferring Pharmaceuticals are collaborating to strengthen efforts to prevent excessive bleeding after childbirth, or post-partum haemorrhage (PPH), in low- and lower-middle income countries without secure cold-chain distribution. The public-private collaboration was created to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity related to PPH, the leading direct cause of maternal mortality, and brings together the expertise of each organization to translate evidence into access, clinical practice and ultimately positive outcomes for women and their families.

MSD for Mothers initiated the collaboration with the World Health Organization and Ferring Pharmaceuticals given the three organizations’ shared goals of PPH prevention. The World Health Organization led the CHAMPION (Carbetocin Haemorrhage Prevention) clinical trial. CHAMPION is the largest study conducted in PPH prevention, with nearly 30,000 women from 10 countries.

MSD science delivers first ebola vaccine

300,000+ individuals vaccinated

850,000+ 1.0 mL investigational doses manufactured

From Guinea to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the world has been dealing with the largest and most complex Ebola outbreaks since the virus was first discovered in 1976. As the outbreaks remain a global health challenge, scientists from MSD, along with numerous external collaborators from all sectors, remain at the forefront of the efforts to address this deadly disease. In December 2019, MSD received approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of Ebola in individuals 18 years of age and older. MSD continues to work urgently, partnering with 15 organizations to ensure uninterrupted access to the vaccine in support of ongoing international response efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and six of its neighboring countries.

Demonstrating the power of public-private partnership in fighting HIV

85%+ antiretroviral therapy(ART) coverage achieved

1,082 –> 284 reduction in HIV mortality deaths per 100,000 population from 2000 to 2012

In 2000, Botswana was a country in crisis. The HIV/AIDS epidemic was ravaging the country, with an adult prevalence rate over 28 percent. Projections from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that 85 percent of 15 year-olds in the country would eventually die of AIDS. In response to this crisis, Merck & Co., Inc., the Merck Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates Foundation), and the Government of Botswana created the first public-private partnership called the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership (ACHAP). ACHAP was a pioneer in scaling treatment, working with the government to achieve the first widespread HIV treatment coverage on the continent and influencing the formation of key global partnerships such as the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Tracking movement of livestock for infectious disease control in East Africa

The persistent degradation of animal productivity from endemic foot and mouth disease (FMD) has disproportionate impacts on the rural poor – especially in Africa where there is limited surveillance resources as well as small-scale livestock keeping which contributes to communal grazing and frequent encounters with wildlife and other livestock. MSD Animal Health, in partnership with the University of Glasgow, has been supporting an ongoing research program in Tanzania, where FMD can occur up to 3 times a year in the same household. The partnership is exploring a multidisciplinary approach to understand how to control FMD in Tanzania with research-focused on targeted vaccination with high-quality vaccines as a control option for FMD and have less of an environmental impact than wildlife-livestock separation approaches.

Invest in resilient health systems

The need for investment in resilient health systems has never been more critical than today. COVID-19 has demonstrated the connectedness of our global health system and the need to partner with governments, feet-on-the-ground organizations, health care providers, impact investors, and global institutions to build a stronger and more resilient global health systems that can manage even the most daunting health threats.

Invest in resilient health systems

Learn more

MSD’s actions to address antimicrobial resistance

$100M commitment for new antibiotics

2,300+ healthcare providers trained

9 tertiary hospital collaborations in 3 SSA countries

MSD is making significant investments to support antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) to improve patient outcomes and slow the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). True to our company’s longstanding tradition of preventing and treating infectious diseases, we’re proud to commit to invest $100 million over 10 years in the new AMR Action Fund with the aim to bring two to four new antibiotics to patients and physicians by the end of the decade.

MSD is collaborating with 9 hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa to develop and implement AMS programs since 2008. More than 2,300 health care providers have been trained.

Catalyzing private investment in health

$5M –> $45M
$5M in MSD for Mothers’ grant capital that unlocked $45 million in debt capital

9,600+ lives which LifeBank – the first investment in the partnership – has saved.

The MOMs Initiative was launched in June 2019 by the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), MSD for Mothers, Credit Suisse, and USAID to stimulate, advance, and scale innovations that contribute to a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth — laying the foundation for life-long good health for women, children, and communities. With an initial $50 million mobilized between grant capital and debt financing, the partnership is committed to catalyzing innovations that are not only driving sustainable return, but making a societal impact on mothers.

MSD partners with AMP Afrique for vaccine confidence capacity building

MSD partnered with AMP Afrique for Vaccine Confidence to support African countries in developing strategies to combat vaccine hesitancy. The project involved two main elements: situational analyses and conducting capacity building workshops with stakeholders including health care professionals, as well as civil society organizations. The outcomes were action plans for addressing vaccine hesitancy in the respective national immunization programs, which is an important step in building resilient health systems.

MSD executives facilitate supply chain training and mentor students in Africa

Since October 2015, the innovative Strategic Training Executive Program (STEP), sponsored by GAVI and IFPW Foundation, has been helping immunization Supply Chain Managers across Africa to hone their skills and provide more effective supply chain leadership. STEP, which combines traditional learning with on-the-job training, helps participants develop their problem-solving skills and foster effective team building approaches. To ensure that learning extends beyond the classroom, course participants are paired up with mentors from the private sector to put their new skills into practice and build a network of contacts to share knowledge.

Innovate for access

MSD is committed to inventing medicines and vaccines that save and improves lives. It’s the most important thing we do. And we know we have to make sure that our inventions get into the hands of people who need them. This requires not only investment in developing our life-saving products, but investing in the broader health ecosystem – training over 30,000 healthcare workers, ensuring over 25 million women can access family planning, and contributing over 60,000 hours of our business and scientific expertise to help solve global health access issues.

Innovate for access

Learn more

Creating a world where no woman has to die giving life

4.6M+ women impacted

24,000+ healthcare providers trained

10+ SSA countries of which programs have been implemented

70+ unique partners invested in

MSD has an over 125-year history of taking on the world’s toughest health challenges. Nearly 10 years ago, we saw an opportunity to make a difference for women and families around the world and help meet global targets for reducing maternal deaths. Over 800 women a day were dying during pregnancy or childbirth from preventable causes and we believed that, by contributing our scientific and business expertise and resources, we could help create a world where no woman has to die while giving life. In 2011, MSD launched MSD for Mothers, a $500 million commitment to a vision where no women has to die giving life.

Committed to finishing the job

3.4B Mectizan treatments provided through the WHO and other partners to halt river blindness

11M+ people no longer require Mectizan® treatment for river blindness.

2 countries (Togo and Malawi) have been validated by WHO for eliminating LF as a public health problem.

The Mectizan Donation Program (MDP) is the longest-running, disease-specific drug donation program of its kind and has been influential in the development of a number of other drug donation programs. And, the MDP’s community-directed strategy used to distribute Mectizan has served as a model for introducing additional health interventions in remote communities where services are limited. The program operationalizes our company’s commitments to the elimination of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis (LF) and reaches more than 300 million people in the affected areas annually, with more than 3.4 billion treatments donated since 1987. Today, river blindness has been effectively eradicated in countries across the globe and has been interrupted in sub-national areas of Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan, and Uganda.

Working toward an Africa free of rabies

2.2M doses of canine rabies vaccine donated

5 African countries in which rabies elimination campaigns were supported

The Afya Program is a global program aimed at improving health, and specifically helping eliminate canine-mediated rabies in underserved parts of the world. The word “Afya” means “health” in Swahili, and for more than 20 years now, the goal of improving health for pets and people through the elimination of canine-mediated rabies has been the driver of our Afya Program. The Afya Program is comprised of a number of rabies control projects supported by MSD Animal Health’s donations of its rabies vaccine. Through our partner organizations including Mission Rabies and Rabies Free Africa, we have been supporting rabies elimination campaigns, research and education around the world including in Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Ghana. Over the past 10 years, the Afya program has donated just over 2.2 million doses of canine rabies vaccine to help eliminate the threat of this deadly disease in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Volunteering our expertise and compassion

60,000 + of invested hours by over 110 health fellows

14 SSA countries where MSD volunteers have worked

The MSD Fellowship for Global Health is a three-month, field-based corporate pro bono program designed to leverage the skills and talents of our employees worldwide. Teams of highly skilled Fellows, who are passionate about our company’s mission to save and improve lives around the world, are assigned to Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) partners to help build their capacity and provide increased access to health services and education in the communities they serve. In turn, the Fellows bring back experiences that contribute to our company’s future success and our ability to deliver innovative health solutions to patients and customers around the world.

Improve our local communities

Operating responsibly as a business is at the very heart of MSD’s ability to deliver sustainable impact—driving long-term value for our company and society. We cultivate innovation and excellence by building a diverse and inclusive workforce, who are empowered to succeed, personally and professionally. Our approach to corporate responsibility is about the health, economic, social and environmental impact we have on individuals and communities in Sub-Saharan Africa in which we operate.

Improve our local communities

Learn more

Placing bets on impact

3.5M+ reached in sub-Saharan Africa

7 funds invested

We are advancing sustainable health solutions in Africa through impact investing. More than 3.5 million people have been reached with health interventions via our impact investments. For example, one of our investment is in Leapfrog Investments Fund III, which is developing a portfolio focused on innovative businesses providing financial services and health care services and products to low- and middle-income consumers in high-growth emerging markets. Fund holdings include Goodlife, a retail pharmacy chain in East Africa focused on increasing access to quality over-the-counter and prescription drugs across the region, ensuring affordability and offering a trusted brand to compete with informal retailers often selling counterfeit drugs. Through impact investing, MSD deploys financial resources in ways that may generate not only improved access to healthcare for underserved populations, but also financial returns, which we may then direct into other corporate responsibility activities.

Supporting women entrepreneurs to deliver primary care

75 Unjani clinics and counting

1.2M+ consultations since inception

350+ jobs created

MSD through its MSD for Mothers initiative is supporting the expansion of a nurse-led entrepreneur network of primary healthcare facilities in South Africa called Unjani Clinics. Our support is allowing Unjani to test a blended financing model that will enable the network to expand from 75 clinics to 100 clinics by end of 2021 while validating a larger financing model that fuel expansion to up to 1,000 clinics by 2030. The Unjani Clinic is addressing the need for quality, affordable and accessible primary healthcare at the community level by focusing on underserved markets.

Supporting COVID responses

22,000+ SSA healthcare workers trained on COVID response

25,000+ engaged users asking questions about COVID

$3M committed through MSD for Mothers in support of partners who are navigating COVID while ensuring safe and healthy pregnancies

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MSD is focused on protecting the safety of its employees, ensuring that our supply of medicines and vaccines reach our patients, contributing our scientific expertise to the development of antiviral approaches and vaccine development, and supporting our healthcare providers and our communities. MSD is contributing to South Africa’s Solidarity Fund and supporting programs that are training healthcare providers on COVID preparedness and supporting messaging platforms to help provide updated and trusted information to populations on the pandemic.