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Ar-Mada Initiative

Active Since: 2004

Contributing to SDGs…

Merck’s partnership with AR-MADA aims at providing sustainable healthcare for underserved populations in hard to reach rural and land-locked areas of Madagascar where access to healthcare is very limited or absent.



  • Local NGOs



  • The Ar-Mada initiative aims to bring medical assistance to people living in rural areas of Madagascar.

What are the health needs and challenges?

Ensuring the provision of regular medical care through the recruitment of health professionals and increased funding for health products and solutions is of urgent need in rural Madagascar.

Partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Merck aims to actively support the humanitarian association AR-MADA in the organization of its annual missions of medical care in remote areas of Madagascar.

Every year, 6 medical missions are organized in Madagascar, on 3 routes simultaneously. Every mission involves 20 to 40 health professionals who reach isolated villages on the Tsiribihina river and the Pangalanes canal during two weeks.

Ar-Mada provides care and collects medicines and medical equipment that will be used during the missions.

Merck is financially supporting the NGO as well as donating products and helping the association to recruit health professionals.

Ar-mada includes nearly 1000 volunteer health professionals (doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, midwives) and has organized 6 medical humanitarian missions a year, on 4 routes simultaneously. Since its launch in 1999, the NGO has organized more than 122 missions in Madagascar and given nearly 296 000 consultations.

Merck is committed to continuing to support this initiative and to ensure a passage every 8 weeks in each village by recruiting health professionals. It is estimated that the project reached 20805 patients in 2010, 24316 patients in 2011, 33892 patients in 2012 and 36023 patients in 2013, 37859 in 2014, 20564 patients in 2015, and 33 867 patients in 2016.


SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

  1. 3.1: Reduce Maternal Mortality
  2. 3.2: Reduce Under-5 Mortality 
  3. 3.3: Communicable Diseases & NTDs
  4. 3.4: NCDs (including mental health)
  5. 3.7: Access to sexual and reproductive health-care services 

SDG 5: Gender Equality

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals 


Since its inception, 359,248 underserved and unserved patients, mainly women and children, where reached through this project.