Merck Foundation CEO Acknowledged Zimbabwe First Lady’s Efforts as Ambassador of More than a Mother to Build Healthcare Capacity, Break Infertility Stigma, and Support Girl Education

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Business Wire India

  • Merck Foundation provided around 100 scholarships to doctors on 32 critical specialties in Zimbabwe.
  • At the same occasions, Merck Foundation Zimbabwe Alumni Summit and Merck Foundation Awards ceremony were conducted
  • Merck Foundation and Zimbabwe First Lady announced the Call for Applications for 2 new categories of 2022 Awards for Media, Musicians, Fashion Designers, Filmmakers, students, and new potential talents in these fields
  • Merck Foundation Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022 to address issues such as: Breaking Infertility Stigma, Support Girls’ Education, End Child Marriage, End FGM, Stopping GBV, and/or Women Empowerment at all levels
  • Merck Foundation Awards “Diabetes & Hypertension” 2022 to promote a healthy lifestyle and raise awareness about the prevention and early detection of Diabetes & Hypertension
​Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, for the first time physically in Zimbabwe, officially launched their programs in partnership with H.E. Dr. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe and the Ambassador of Merck Foundation ‘More Than a Mother’ together with Ministry of Health & Child Care, at the State House of Zimbabwe, the programs which started in 2019 aim to transform patient care, build healthcare capacity, break the stigma of infertility, empower women, support girl education in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa.
 
Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of “More Than a Mother” Campaign emphasized, “I am honored to meet my dear sister, H.E. Dr. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe and the Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother at the State House of Zimbabwe for the first time in the country, to officially launch our programs and follow up our long-term partnership to build healthcare capacity, support girl education, and empower infertile women in Zimbabwe.

I am proud to share that together with Zimbabwe First Lady, we have provided around 100 scholarships of one-year Diploma and two-year Master Degree in many critical and underserved medical specialties including Fertility & Embryology, Oncology, Diabetes, Preventive Cardiovascular, Endocrinology, Sexual & Reproductive Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Acute Medicine, and Clinical Microbiology, infectious diseases and more to young Zimbabwean doctors.”

H.E. Dr. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe and Ambassador of Merck Foundation More than a Mother expressed, “I am very happy to meet and host Merck Foundation CEO for the first time in our country especially after the corona pandemic slightly eased. We started our joint programs in 2019 and are happy to officially launch these important programs, and also celebrate an important milestone of success and impact. We worked hard together with Merck Foundation over the past three years to make history by providing specialty training to first specialists in many fields in public sector hence transforming patent care landscape in our country.”

Moreover, during the launch program, Merck Foundation CEO together with Zimbabwe First Lady met and acknowledged the Merck Foundation Alumni and the Winners of the Merck Foundation Media Recognition Awards.
 
Senator Rasha Kelej further emphasized, “It was lovely meeting and acknowledging our Merck Foundation Alumni who are the future healthcare experts of Zimbabwe. It was also a pleasure to felicitate the Winners of 2019, 2020 and 2021 Merck Foundation Media Awards from Zimbabwe and discuss with them the critical role they can play to create a culture shift and to be the voice of the voiceless to be Merck foundation health and social champions.”

Zimbabwe winners of Merck Foundation Media Awards in partnership with The First Lady of Zimbabwe, H.E. Dr. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA & Ambassador of Merck Foundation ‘More Than a Mother’ are:

Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” Media Recognition Awards 2021
 

  • Moses Mugugunyeki, The Standard (Print – FIRST Position)
  • Tendai Rupapa, The Herald (Online – FIRST Position)
  • John Manzongo, The Herald (Online – FIRST Position)
  • Gracious Mugovera, The Patriot (Online – FIRST Position)
  • Catherine Murombedzi nee Mwauyakufa, The Observer (Online – SECOND Position)
 
Merck Foundation “Mask Up with Care” Media Recognition Awards 2021
 
  • Silence Mugadzaweta, NewsD (Print – SECOND Position)
  • Muchaneta Chimuka, Zimpapers Covid-19 Newsletter (Online – FIRST Position)
  • Tendai Rupapa, The Herald (Online – FIRST Position)
  • Nevson Mpofu, www.panafricanvisions.com (Online – SECOND Position)
  • Elizabeth Sitotombe, The Patriot Newspaper (Online – SECOND Position)
  • Silence Mugadzaweta, News Day (Online – THIRD Position)
  • Veronica Gwaze, Sunday Mail (Online – THIRD Position)
  • PETER CHIVHIMA, ZIMBABWE BROADCASTING CORPORATION (MULTIMEDIA – FIRST Position)
 
Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” Media Recognition Awards 2020
 
  • Roselyne Sachiti, The Herald Newspaper (Print – FIRST Position)
  • Mugugunye Moses, The Standard (Print – SECOND Position)
  • Patrick Musira, The Afronews (Print -THIRD Position)
  • Takudzwa Chihambakwe, Zimpapers Group (Print – THIRD Position)
  • Nyasha Clementine Rwodzi , Self Represented (Print – SPECIAL AWARD, NOVEL)
  • Gracious Mugovera, The Patriot (Online – FIRST Position)
  • John Manzongo, The Herald Newspaper (Online – THIRD Position)
  • Abel Dzobo, Hela TV (Multimedia – FIRST Position)
  • Tashie Masawi, ZBC Radio Station Classic 263 (Radio – FIRST Position)
  • Rutendo Makuti, ZBC Radio Zimbabwe (Radio – SECOND Position)
  • Memory Nkwe Ndhlovu, Media House: Classic 263 (Radio – THIRD Position)
 
Merck Foundation “Stay At Home” Media Recognition Awards 2020
 
  • Bridget Mananavire, Independent Senior Reporter (Print – SECOND Position)
  • Cliff Chiduku, Newsday (Print – THIRD Position)
  • Tendai Rupapa, The Herald (Online – FIRST Position)
  • Andrew Mambondiyani, The African Argument (Online – SECOND Position)
 
Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” Media Recognition Awards 2019
 
  • Abel Dzobo, Hela TV (Multimedia)
  • John Manzongo, The Herald Newspaper (Online)
  • Mugugunye Moses Chigwa, The Standard (Print)
  • Patrick Musira, The Afronews, Canada (Print – SPECIAL)
  • Roselyne Sachiti, The Herald Newspaper (Print – SPECIAL)
  • Takudzwa Chihambakwe, Zimpapers Group (Print – SPECIAL)
  • Tashie Masawi, ZBC Radio Station Classic 263 (Radio)
  • Rutendo Makuti, ZBC Radio Zimbabwe (Radio – SPECIAL)
 
Merck Foundation in partnership with The First Lady of Zimbabwe has launched three children’s storybooks titled: “Tudu’s Story” to emphasize on the strong family values of love and respect from a young age which will reflect on eliminating the stigma of infertility and resulted domestic violence in the future, “Educating Rujeko Story” to emphasize on the importance of empowering girls through education and “Make the Right Choice Story” to raise awareness about coronavirus prevention amongst children and youth as it provides facts about the pandemic and how to stay safe and healthy during the outbreak. 30,000 copies of the three storybooks have been distributed to young readers, the school students of Zimbabwe.

During the coronavirus outbreak, Merck Foundation also supported the livelihood of women and casual workers‘ families, the most affected by coronavirus lockdown through community donation.

Moreover, Merck Foundation in partnership with The First Lady of Zimbabwe together with Ministries of Health and Information had organized their Health Media Training to educate the media to raise awareness about breaking the infertility stigma and other critical social and health issues in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa. A new edition of the Health Media Training will be organized soon.

Merck Foundation CEO also announced the Call for Applications for 2022 in partnership with Zimbabwe First Lady, for their 8 important awards for Zimbabwean Media, Musicians, Fashion Designers, Filmmakers, students, and new potential talents in these fields.

The awards announced are:

1. Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022
Click here to view more details.
 
2. Merck Foundation Film Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022
Click here to view more details.
 
3. Merck Foundation Fashion Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022
Click here to view more details.
 
4. Merck Foundation Song Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022
Click here to view more details.
 
5. Merck Foundation Media Recognition Awards 2022 “Diabetes & Hypertension”
Click here to view more details.
 
6. Merck Foundation Film Awards 2022 “Diabetes & Hypertension”
Click here to view more details.
 
7. Merck Foundation Fashion Awards 2022 “Diabetes & Hypertension”
Click here to view more details.
 
8. Merck Foundation Song Awards 2022 “Diabetes & Hypertension”
Click here to view more details.

Submission deadline: 30th October 2022. Entries are to be submitted to [email protected].

About ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ campaign
 
“Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-set. This powerful campaign supports in defining policies and interventions to build quality and equitable Reproductive and Fertility Care Capacity, Break Infertility Stigma and Raise Awareness about Infertility Prevention and Male Infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for Fertility Specialists and Embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.
 
With “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility at all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child. 
 
The Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” are:

 

H.E. NEO JANE MASISI,
The First Lady of Botswana
H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana
H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria
H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi
H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia
H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone
H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic
H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi
H.E. MUTINTA HICHILEMA, The First Lady of Zambia
H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville
H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique
H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe
H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo
H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia
 
H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia
H.E. BAZOUM HADIZA MABROUK, The First Lady of Niger
 
The Former First Lady of Burundi, H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The Former First Lady of Chad, H.E. HINDA DÉBY ITNO, The Former First Lady of Guinea Conakry, H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The Former First Lady of Malawi, H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The Former First Lady of Niger, H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU and The Former First Lady of Zambia, H.E. ESTHER LUNGU have worked successfully with Merck Foundation as Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Ambassadors to break the stigma of infertility and empower infertile women in their countries.
 
Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck Foundation More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;
 
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Africa Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Film Awards
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Song Awards
  • Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
  • Children storybook, localized for each country