Malawi First Lady Joins Merck Foundation First Ladies Summit via Videoconference to Discuss Healthcare Capacity and COVID-19 Response in Africa

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Business Wire India

  • Merck Foundation appoints Malawi First Lady as the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother to empower infertile women
  • Merck Foundation in partnership with Malawi First Lady and Minister of Health to provide speciality training to Malawian doctors in various fields such as; Oncology, Diabetes, Fertility, Embryology, Respiratory Care, Acute Medicines, Sexual and Reproductive Medicines to transform public healthcare sector in Malawi.
​Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany announced their long-term partnership with The First Lady of Malawi, during their first Video Conference Summit of Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI). The MFFLI VC Summit was attended by 13 African First Ladies to discuss their joint efforts to build healthcare capacity and strengthen the response to COVID-19 in the country and Africa at large.

Appreciating the programs of Merck Foundation, H.E. Mrs. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi emphasized, “I am very happy to be appointed as Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother. I will be fully supporting this campaign as The First Lady of Malawi, as a woman, this cause is very close to my heart. I will work in collaboration with our ministries to sensitize our communities, particularly in rural areas to better understand infertility hence to break the stigma around infertile women and to empower them through access to information, education, health, and change of mindset. Moreover, I am looking forward to building healthcare capacity in the country, through the programs of Merck Foundation, as it will contribute to the social and economic development of Malawi.”

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother expressed, “We are very happy to partner with The First Lady of Malawi, and underscore our long term commitment to build healthcare capacity, empower girls in education and break the stigma of infertility in Malawi. We are also very proud to appoint The First Lady of Malawi as the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother. We are going to work very closely with her and the Government of Malawi to make history together by providing training for the First Specialists in many fields such as; Fertility, Sexual and Reproductive Medicines, Oncology, Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Respiratory and Acute Medicines with the aim to improve access to quality and equitable health care in the country.”

Merck Foundation will continue their important program “Educating Linda” together with Malawi First Lady to sponsor the education of 20 best performing girls in their secondary schools till they graduate.

“I truly believe that Education is Power and educating girls is empowering them to make their own decisions, stand up for their rights, and help them to access economic opportunities,” added Dr. Rasha Kelej, One of 100 Most Influential Africans (2019, 2020).

Merck Foundation will enroll the selected Malawian doctors by the First Lady office and Ministry of Health to their various training programs for the next 10 years.

Moreover, Merck Foundation also celebrated three winners from Malawi for their “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards from Southern African Countries to raise awareness about COVID 19 in the country.