Summer newsletter 2022

juli 13, 2022 time to read 5 min read

Health Literacy

One in three Belgians has difficulty obtaining, understanding and using health information. This is a complex problem that no organization can solve alone. That’s why, at an event on May 10, HealthNest challenged healthcare professionals, patient organizations and other stakeholders to contribute to the structural improvement of health literacy. HealthNest partners have defined several levers to improve health literacy such as the promotion of organizations competent in literacy, professional capacity building, integrated health information, the provision of health information, promoting critical appraisal. HealthNest is now taking the next step, which is to activate these levers in collaboration with the actors that have an impact on health skills. The initiative targets organizations such as patient representatives, medical associations and practitioners in the field of health and well-being.

flyer invitation healthnest challenge doctor holding light

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Cancer explained by a patient

At MSD we share a common desire to use the power of science to save and improve lives. Freya Rowaert is no exception. She works at MSD and started a local initiative in Dutch called Klare Kijk op Kanker. A 20-year cancer survivor, she is personally invested in patient engagement. Better than anyone, she knows the emotional roller coaster that patients go through at first diagnosis and during treatment: “Being a cancer patient myself, I have realized that over the past 20 years, I often had times when I still had a lot of questions after the visit to my doctor”.

With support from MSD, Freya launched Klare Kijk op Kanker to inform, inspire and support cancer patients through her own story. By sharing resources to help increase health literacy, Freya aims to better prepare patients for medical visits.

Freya sitting with drink

To learn more about Freya’s project:

Remote monitoring of cancer patients

Returning home between phases of treatment in the hospital, a cancer patient may suffer side effects related to their treatment and not find adequate resources to deal with these adverse effects. These situations are not only a source of discomfort for the patient, but if these adverse effects are not treated in time, this can lead to hospitalization or even early discontinuation of treatment. A potential solution is the remote monitoring of patients via digital communication.

MSD Belgium, in collaboration with Deloitte, Harvard students, and Belgian clinical experts in oncology, has developed an approach called Take the Leap to accelerate the implementation of remote monitoring of cancer patients in Belgian hospitals. This approach consists of three axes: a white paper, a practical guide for hospitals and a first technological partnership with the company Awell Health.

logo 'take the leap'

For more information:

Melanoma prevention campaign

For the past few years, we have been launching a melanoma prevention campaign in May, highlighting the dangers of sun exposure and the importance of annual screening.

This year we are repeating the exercise with the #YourSkinSharesYourLife campaign on social media in collaboration with influencers who spread the message widely within their community.

MSD employees funny photo shoot straw hats glasses smiles

To find out more about this campaign:


As you know, MSD is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research and development of innovations that meet real medical needs. Our pipeline illustrates this vision very well with currently more than 100 research programs in phase 2 and 3. As we follow what science dictates us, our portfolio of innovations is extremely diverse.

Oncology remains one of our key areas, with more than 30 types of cancer being studied in advanced and early stages with combined treatment options and various approaches, including immunotherapy.

Infectious diseases are also a priority for us, with important clinical studies in the field of HIV, cytomegalovirus and pneumococcal infections.

We also have ongoing clinical studies in cardiovascular diseases such as pulmonary hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Neurological diseases such as intractable depression and schizophrenia are also part of our research program.

campaign picture HPV boy jumping

Vaxneuvance®, new 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV15)

As mentioned in the article above, infectious diseases research and prevention is a priority for MSD.

This is why we embarked on the development of new vaccines against pneumococcal diseases and we are proud today that the European Commission has approved VAXNEUVANCE® (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 15-valent, PCV15) for active immunization in the prevention of invasive diseases and pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae in individuals from 18 years of age.

Vaxneuvance® is now available in Belgium, at a non-reimbursed retail price of €74.55.

3 people of different age and nationality

To learn more about this new vaccine and consult the full scientific leaflet, go to

Papillomavirus or HPV is not just for girls

The lifetime probability of contracting a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is 85% in women and 91% in men. Most HPV infections are cleared by the immune system, but oncogenic types can cause anogenital cancers.