Our Africa by Merck Foundation Sixth Episode Focuses on the Sensitive Issue of Female Genital Mutilation

Business Wire India

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany has launched the First Episode of their first-ever TV program – ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’. The Sixth episode addressed a sensitive issue to the African communities: Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The past episodes of the show have addressed diabetes prevention and early detection, breaking infertility stigma, supporting girl education and the importance of promoting a Healthy Lifestyle respectively. The TV program has been receiving phenomenal reviews from viewers of these channels as well as social media followers across Africa and beyond.

The show initially released on prime TV stations of many countries like KTV in KenyaNTV in Uganda, and GH One TV in Ghana and ZNBC in ZambiaAYV in Sierra Leone and LTV, Liberia, immediately captured the attention and hearts of millions of viewers across Africa. The TV program will soon be broadcast on TV 3 in Ghana, BTV in Botswana, KTN in Kenya and QTV in The Gambia. “Our Africa” TV Program is currently on social media handles of Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej and Merck Foundation.

Watch the Sixth Episode promo here: https://youtu.be/3w5ZpiG7BcM

Watch the Sixth Episode here: https://youtu.be/7GtXkBYv_94

‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ is a pan African TV program that is conceptualized, produced, directed, and co-hosted by Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation to feature African Fashion Designers, Singers, and prominent experts from various domains with the aim to raise awareness and create a culture shift across Africa. The show is co-hosted by Brian Mulondo from Uganda.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation expressed, “I am overwhelmed by the amazing response we have been receiving for ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ TV program so far. I am thankful to all those who have reached out to us on our social media platforms appreciating our efforts and asking us questions about different interventions, songs, films, and videos that they can use on their platforms and communities to break the silence and build advocacy. All of this is very encouraging. We have now come out with the sixth episode of ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ that opens a dialogue regarding the ill effects of FGM and supporting girl education.”

Watch the Photo Album of the 6th Episode ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jZuoak7Fm0

“We need to be aware that FGM has no health benefits, it only harms girls and women physically and psychologically. FGM can also lead to severe medical complications in women such as infertility as infection due to FGM is one of the main causes of Infertility. FGM also increases the risk of HIV transmission and can cause severe complications during childbirth. We must understand that FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. This practice needs to stop immediately. Empowering girls with the right education is the only solution to this age-norms that also promotes gender inequality,” Dr. Rasha Kelej added.

Watch the Promo of ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOdXqQUdkm8

The sixth episode of ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ featured popular singer – Kenneth Mugabi from Uganda. The singer presented a new song created to support Girl Education during the episode. Fashion designers from Senegal – Safietou Seck and Aicha Fatou Gaye also featured in this episode and showcased their designs that displayed strong and relevant messages about stopping FGM.

FGM comprises of a procedure that involves altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights, the health and the integrity of girls and women. Girls who undergo female genital mutilation face short-term complications such as severe pain, shock, excessive bleeding, infections, and difficulty in passing urine, as well as long-term consequences for their sexual and reproductive health and mental health. Although primarily concentrated in 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East, female genital mutilation is a universal problem and is also practiced in some countries in Asia and Latin America.

“I strongly believe that Education is one of the most critical areas of women empowerment and will definitely help in stopping practices such as FGM which do not benefit anyone. Through our “Educating Linda” program, we support young girls who are unprivileged but brilliant to continue their education, from many African countries. The spirit of the project is to provide an opportunity to such girls to pursue their dreams and reach their potential through access to education. Merck Foundation has released many inspiring children’s storybooks and songs to support girl education,” emphasized Senator Kelej.

1. Watch, share & subscribe to the “Girl Can” song here, sung by two famous singers, Irene and Cwezi from Liberia and Ghana respectively: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LP92vAWYgs
2. Watch share & subscribe to “Tu Podes Sim” Portuguese song, which means “Yes, You Can” in English, here, sung by two famous singers, Blaze and Tamyris Moiane, talented singers from Mozambique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGWR2S-mxl4
3. Read Educating Linda Storybook here: https://merck-foundation.com/merckfoundation/public/uploads/digital_library/1623068469_6affa28d861b48da41cf.pdf

4. Read Ride into the Future Storybook here: https://merck-foundation.com/merckfoundation/public/uploads/digital_library/1639993429_cca7a831eeb6dbe2c188.pdf

5. Read Jackline’s Rescue Storybook here: https://merck-foundation.com/merckfoundation/public/uploads/digital_library/1639990408_efbd2346fb16c605c12d.pdf

Senator, Dr. Rasha further emphasized, “We have also launched awards for Media, Fashion Designers, Filmmakers, Musicians/ Singers, and new potential talents in these fields from African countries to address the sensitive issue of Ending FGM, and also other issues like Breaking Infertility Stigma, Supporting Girl Education, Women Empowerment, Ending Child Marriage and/ or Stopping GBV. We are running these competitions in partnership with my dear sisters, the African First Ladies. I am excited and looking forward to receiving the applications on [email protected].”
“I am very excited to bring to you all the upcoming episodes of ‘OUR AFRICA by Merck Foundation’ TV program. So, stay tuned and be ready to Get informed, Get healthy, and Get entertained!” concluded Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Watch Episode 1 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz1S1Dlugkc

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