Merck Foundation calls for action together with African First Ladies and Ministers to Build Healthcare Capacity

ZAMBIA – Merck foundation “More than a Mother” Ambassadors, African First Ladies of Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Namibia actively participated in the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary which was co-chaired by Zambia First Lady, H.E. Esther Lungu and Merck Foundation CEO, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KgaA, conducted the 8th Edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary” 2021, through an online video conference.

During the Luminary, Merck Foundation CEO & President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized his appreciation to 20 African First Ladies who have partnered with Merck Foundation to empower infertile women, eliminate the stigma around infertility and empower girls and women in education, in their countries.

During the Luminary, the Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative Committee (MFFLI) was also conducted to discuss, follow up and monitor the ongoing programs that also include healthcare capacity building.

The keynote address at the 8th edition of Merck Africa Asia Luminary was delivered by H.E. Mrs. Esther Lungu.

During her welcome speech, H.E. Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother stated, “I am delighted to host this prestigious conference. I am very proud of our partnership with Merck Foundation through which we have been able to achieve many outcomes in the country for the social and economic welfare of our people.

She also announced that they have enrolled and provided training to more than 90 young doctors from all provinces in Zambia with specialty training in the fields of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory, Acute medicines, Sexual and Reproductive Medicines, Fertility and Embryology.

H.E. Mrs. Ana Dias Lourenco, The First Lady of Angola emphasized, “I am happy to virtually meet and join my sisters, First Ladies of Africa, as a Guest of Honour for the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary. we are working with Merck Foundation to shape the “Educating Linda” Program which aims to empower girls through education and eliminate child marriage and early pregnancy, this cause is very close to my heart and I consider it one of my main objectives as I strongly believe that Education is one of the most critical areas of women empowerment”

H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said ”We started our partnership with Merck Foundation in 2018 and since then we have achieved very important milestones and we made a concrete impact in building quality and equitable healthcare capacity, advocation to break the stigma of infertility, and stopping Gender-Based Violence.”

H.E. Madam SIKA KABORE, The First Lady of Burkina Faso & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother stated “I am also very proud to be appointed the Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother, to empower infertile women through access to information, education, change of mindset, and economic empowerment and empower our girls through education.”

H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said, “We will continue to work closely with Merck Foundation to create a culture shift with the aim to support girl education and empower women through access to education, health and change of mindset through media training and media awards, children storybooks, songs and films & fashion awards, and other innovative initiatives.”

H.E. Madam BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother emphasized “We started our partnership with Merck Foundation in 2016, to advance the healthcare sector and empower infertile women in my country. Together, we initiated an important project “Empowering Berna” where we established small businesses for infertile women and train them to run their businesses so they can have income and become independent. Their lives have transformed since then.

H.E. Madam DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, The First Lady of the Democratic Republic of The Congo & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said, “I am extremely happy to be a part of this platform. I am happy with the impact we have had in a very short time. We have enrolled more than 40 doctors in various specialties. 7 have been enrolled for fertility and embryology training, 1 for oncology and more than 32 doctors, representing each province in DRC, have been enrolled for diabetes specialty training. After completing the training, these doctors will transform the Diabetes care in my country”.

H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother emphasized, “I have been working closely with Merck Foundation to empower infertile women as the attitude of the people towards these women is not progressive or informed. I am honored to be the Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother, through this campaign I intend to help the women of my country.

H.E. Madam DJÈNÈ CONDÉ, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother explained, “I am delighted to share the magnificent outcomes of my long-term partnership with Merck Foundation. Together we have been able to empower infertile women through access to information, education, health, and change of mindset and establishing small businesses for them through the “Empowering Berna” program.”

H.E. Mrs. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said, “On behalf of people of Liberia, I welcome the long-term partnership with Merck Foundation to build health care capacity, the importance of which we realized more during this uncertain time.”

H.E. Mrs. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother expressed, “I am extremely happy of my partnership with Merck Foundation. Together, we have so far provided more than 16 local doctors with the scholarship of online one-year diploma and two-year master degree in many needed medical specialties such as Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Endocrinology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicines, Respiratory Medicines and Acute Medicines, they are currently undergoing their studies.”

H.E. Mrs. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother emphasized, “Together with Merck Foundation, I am fully committed to will work closely to introduce innovative ideas that will engage different sectors to create a culture shift with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and make a great impact in a short time.”

H.E. Mrs. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said “I am very happy to share the impact of our partnership with Merck Foundation, More than 37 local young Namibian doctors will be provided with one-year online diploma from South Wales University, in the fields of Diabetes, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory Medicines, Acute Medicines and Sexual and Reproductive Medicines. We will establish our first local platform of specialists and experts in those fields which is very important to improve access to quality and equitable healthcare to Coronavirus Patients and risk groups too.”

Related posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.