- The First Ladies of Central African Republic, Gambia, Chad, Niger, and the Republic of Guinea announced they will be ambassadors for Merck more than a Mother campaign in their countries.
- More than 450 African healthcare providers, policymakers and researchers from Africa and Asia benefited from the luminary sessions.
During the conference, Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Merck Foundation and Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board, E. Merck KG, was awarded by Africa Fertility Society as part of “Merck more than a Mother’s” efforts to break the stigma around infertile women in partnership with African First Ladies.
Merck KGaA Germany also marked the launch of their Merck Foundation, a non-profit company established in June 2017 at the Fourth edition of their annual “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” held in Cairo, Egypt.
Chairperson of National Assembly of Namibia, Hon. Margaret Mensah-Williams emphasized; “I am very proud to be an ambassador for Merck Foundation in my country, the appointment of Dr. Rasha Kelej as the CEO of Merck foundation is a great proof that Merck believes in women empowerment, diversity and empowering of African talents as a core part of their strategy. Such an important vision which we all share as African women leaders.”
Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board and Family Board of E-Merck KG emphasized; “Merck is a value driven company and that is one of the reasons why Merck through its Foundation is committed to supporting the social and economic development of Africa, Asia and developing countries by building healthcare capacity and improving access to innovative and equitable healthcare in the continent.”
Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized in our interview; “I am very proud to have very influential women leaders to launch Merck Foundation and inaugurate the Luminary.”
The First Ladies pledged their commitment to a long-term partnership with Merck Foundation together with their own Foundation’s and Ministries of Health in their respective countries to implement the fertility and cancer access programs.
First Lady of Chad, Madame Hinda Deby Itno underscored; “I will be very happy to lead campaigns and raise awareness about infertility to break the stigma around infertile women together with Merck Foundation, we are discussing the execution of the training programs for our first fertility specialists in my country which will contribute to helping couples to find solutions to make happy families.”
Side meetings have been held with each First Lady and Ministers of Health to define strategy and execution plans of “Merck more than a mother” and “Merck Cancer access program.”
Individual visits have been decided to identify infertile women and enroll them in Merck more than a mother empowerment programs in each country.
First Lady of Niger, H.E. Madam Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou said; “We are very proud to partner with Merck Foundation for such noble cause, I am happy to accept the appointment as an ambassador of ‘Merck more than a mother’ to empower infertile women through access to awareness, health and change of mindset in Niger.”
First Lady of Guinea-Conakry, H.E. Madam Djene Kaba Condé commented: “I am personally involved in community awareness to empower women in my country, I welcome this noble cause to save women from discrimination and mistreatment for no reason at all except their inability of bearing children which is equally caused by their husbands and yet they are solely blamed for it. We will work very closely with ‘Merck more than a mother’ to change this unfair behavior and create a culture shift. We are also very happy to provide oncology training for our doctors as we do not have any oncologists in Guinea, this will leave a very strong impact on the health of my people.”
The first lady of Central African Republic, H.E. Madam Brigitte Touadera has received an acknowledgment award from Merck Foundation as a recognition for her successful role as ambassador for Merck more than a Mother in 2016 and 2017 and the successful partnership with Merck Foundation to build healthcare capacity in the post-conflict country.