Merck Foundation Africa First Ladies – MFFLI to Discuss 2024 Strategy and Share Programs Impact to Train Healthcare Providers, Support Girl Education and Break Infertility Stigma

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Business Wire India

  • Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej and The First Ladies of Botswana, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo conducted MFFLI committee in India on 2nd day of 10th Merck Foundation Africa Asia luminary 2013 in India.
  • Africa’s First Ladies marked together the 6th Anniversary of Merck Foundation and 11 year journey of Merck foundation development programs by sharing the impact of their partnership programs with Merck Foundation to build healthcare capacity, support girl education and break infertility stigma, in their respective countries.
  • Merck Foundation reported the impact of providing 1700 scholarships to doctors from 50 countries in 42 critical and underserved specialties such as; Oncology, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Preventive, Endocrinology, Fertility, Embryology, Reproductive Care, Respiratory Care, Acute and Intensive Care, Neonatal Care, Pediatric Emergency, Advanced Surgery, Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine, Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, Palliative Care and Pain Management and more.
  • Link to the Merck Foundation Africa First Ladies Initiative – MFFLI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PV8xFaY_Rw
 
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, conducted their annual conference, the 10th Edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary” in India. The conference was inaugurated by Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Merck Foundation Board of Trustees, and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary, along with Africa’s First Ladies of 11 countries;

 

  • H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of the Republic of Botswana
  • H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of the Republic of Burundi
  • H.E. Dr. DÉBORA KATISA CARVALHO, The First Lady of the Republic of Cabo Verde
  • H.E. Madam BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic
  • H.E. Mrs. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of the Republic of The Gambia
  • H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana
  • H.E. Mrs. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of the Republic of Liberia
  • H.E. Mrs. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of the Republic of Malawi
  • H.E. Mrs. MARIA DE FATIMA VILA NOVA, The First Lady of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe
  • H.E. Amai Dr. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe
  • H.E. Madam DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, The First Lady of the Democratic Republic of The Congo
 
Merck Foundation CEO, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized, “I am very proud to conduct Merck Foundation Africa First Ladies Initiatives – MFFLI, together with our Guests of Honor and Keynote Speakers, the First Ladies of 11 African Countries, who are also the Ambassadors of Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother”, to discuss the 2024 strategy to build healthcare & that media capacity and raise awareness on a wide range of sensitive and critical social and health issues like Supporting Girl Education, Ending Child Marriage, Stopping GBV, Breaking Infertility Stigma, Ending FGM, Women Empowerment, and Diabetes Awareness.”

Merck Foundation has provided till today, more than 1700 scholarships to young doctors from 50 countries in 42 critical and underserved specialties.

“This is a great milestone of transforming patient care landscape and leading Africa to a better, healthier and stronger future. I am happy to hear from my dear sisters their experiences and success stories in their respective countries, together we will be an important part of Africa’s legacy,” Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized.

During the Inauguration Session of the Luminary, Merck Foundation Chairman and CEO and Africa’s First Ladies delivered their keynote speeches to share the impact of their partnership journey with Merck Foundation for the past 11 years.

H.E. Amai Dr. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother expressed, “Our partnership journey the commenced in 2019, and we have accomplished significant milestones ever since. We have provided more than 100 scholarships to young Zimbabwean doctors in many critical and underserved specialties including Fertility & Embryology, Oncology, Diabetes, Preventive Cardiovascular, Endocrinology, Sexual & Reproductive Care, Respiratory Medicine, Acute Medicine, and Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Neonatal Care, Psychiatry, Internal Medicine, Emergency Pediatric, Orthopedic Trauma and more. This is for the first time in Zimbabwe that we work on such an impactful program, it is history in the making. Additionally, through ‘Educating Linda’ program to support girl education, we have provided scholarships to 20 girls to complete their education by providing their tuition fees.”

Watch the video of The First Lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother during the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2023 here: https://youtu.be/ycwbXMHqRA4
 
H.E. Mrs. MARIA DE FATIMA VILA NOVA, The First Lady of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother shared, “I am thoroughly impressed with the initiatives of Merck Foundation and very proud to be appointed as the Ambassador of Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” campaign to empower women living with infertility stigma through improving their access to information, education, change of mindset. Merck Foundation CEO who provided me with an extensive overview of their programs, and I looking forward to initiating all their programs in my country soon, to be able to build healthcare capacity, support girl education and more.”

Watch the speech of The First Lady of São Tomé and Príncipe & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother during the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2023 here: https://youtu.be/L2SHyJvJosQ
 
H.E. Mrs. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother expressed, “I have worked closely with Merck Foundation since 2020 to define the right strategy to build healthcare capacity, support girl education and empower infertile women, in Malawi. I am proud to share that through their Educating Linda program, we together with Merck Foundation have sponsored the education of 60 best performing girls in their secondary schools till they graduate. This is a big milestone for our young Malawian girls. Moreover, as a part of their “Empowering Berna” program, we transformed lives of 13 women as they got a chance to establish their own small businesses so that they can be financially independent; Moreover, 42 scholarships have been provided to young Malawian doctors in critical medical specialties such as Fertility & Embryology, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Oncology, Internal Medicine, Sexual & Reproductive Medicines, Ousmane emergency, respiratory care, acute care and more. My journey with Merck Foundation has definitely been amazing, very impactful and efficient.”

Watch the video of The First Lady of Malawi & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother during the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2023 here: https://youtu.be/YI9zLK2bzcE
 
H.E. Mrs. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said, “I am very happy to work closely with Merck Foundation to empower infertile women through access to information, education, health and change of mindset. Merck Foundation also provided Sanitary Napkin Production Machine and raw materials; this will really help our young girls. I truly appreciate our partnership and acknowledge their smart and serious strategy to provide specialty training for our local doctors. Till today, 37 scholarships have been provided to our doctors in many critical and underserved specialties. This is a huge achievement for us, and we are definitely making history in Libera by training the first specialists in many medical fields such as: Infertility, Embryology, Oncology and Diabetes.”

Watch the video of The First Lady of Liberia & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother during the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2023 here: https://youtu.be/znZJwOkJoYM
 
H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother emphasized, “As the Ambassador of More Than a Mother, I have been working closely with Merck Foundation to empower women in general and infertile women in specific, by making the fertility, sexual and reproductive care available for them, and also by creating a culture shift through many initiatives. Moreover, we have been able to provide for our young healthcare providers mainly in the public sector with 138 scholarships of specialty training in many important medical fields. These scholarships have made a substantial contribution to enhancing access to equitable and quality healthcare solutions in our country.”

Watch the video of The First Lady of Ghana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother during the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2023 here: https://youtu.be/gxZgbEXZssI
 
H.E. Mrs. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of Republic of The Gambia & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother emphasized, “I am very proud of our partnership that is existing since 2017 as we have achieved significant milestones together. We have provided 39 scholarships to young Gambian doctors. This is a very high number for our country and will contribute significantly to The Gambia’s health security and its economic and social development. Together, we are also working on various initiatives to raise awareness about critical social and health issues like Breaking Infertility Stigma, supporting Girl Education, Stopping GBV, Ending Child Marriage & FGM, diabetes & hypertension awareness.”

Watch the video of The First Lady of Republic of The Gambia & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother during the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2023 here: https://youtu.be/oLqGXN3ilw4
 
H.E. Madam BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central Africa & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother emphasized “I greatly value our partnership with Merck Foundation that is since 2015, to support us to advance and build the healthcare capacity in our country by providing scholarships to our local doctors in various medical specialities. Together, we worked on “Empowering Berna” program where we established small businesses for infertile and childless women and trained them to run their businesses so they can have income and become independent and have a purpose in life. Also, as a part of Merck Foundation’s Education Linda program, we will be providing scholarships to 20 under-privileged schoolgirls from our country to support girl education. Moreover, 5 scholarships have been provided to our doctors by Merck Foundation so far in Oncology and Diabetes.”

Watch the video of The First Lady of Republic of Central African Republic & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother during the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2023 here: https://youtu.be/4iiLfKW7HCE
 
H.E. Dr. DÉBORA KATISA CARVALHO, The First Lady of the Republic of Cabo Verde & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said, “I am very honoured to be a part of this prestigious platform. Merck Foundation gave me a detailed summary of their programs to build healthcare capacity, empower girls in education, and break the infertility stigma. I am very excited to initiate them in my country at the earliest to be able to benefit our people.”

Watch the Speech of The First Lady of Cabo Verde & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother during the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2023 here: https://youtu.be/U7WOHcd8Vx4
 
H.E. Mrs. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother stated, “Our partnership started in 2020 and I have already seen the impact of Merck Foundation programs in my country, in a very short span. Together with my dear sister Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, we recently inaugurated the first public IVF center in our country. Merck Foundation has provided training for Fertility Specialists, Embryologists and also technicians, who are the first local experts in Burundi. Moreover, 54 scholarships have been provided to our local doctors in many critical and underserved specialties. I am also very happy about Merck Foundation’s important program “Educating Linda” through which we sponsor the education of 20 best-performing girls in their secondary schools every year. This is a very important initiative to empower our girls in education.”

Watch the Speech of The First Lady of Burundi & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother during the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2023 here: https://youtu.be/_pBVJoQs-VQ

H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said, “I am glad to have this ongoing long-term beneficial partnership with Merck Foundation which began in 2018. Together we have provided 41 scholarships to our local doctors in many important and under-served specialties, which has significantly added value to our public healthcare sector. As part of our National program to stop GBV, Merck Foundation provided 20 Sewing Machines to be provided to the women’s groups who suffer GBV across Botswana, to be able to generate a monthly income for them, so as to improve their livelihoods. Moreover, together we also launched a Poster Contest on “Stop GBV” initiative.”

Watch the video of The First Lady of Botswana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother during the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2023 here: https://youtu.be/94FYPwVuLFQ
 
H.E. Madam DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, The First Lady of Democratic Republic of The Congo & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said, “I would like to greatly acknowledge our valuable partnership with Merck Foundation that we started in 2020, and in a very short time, we have together achieved a lot. I am proud to share that Merck Foundation has provided 87 scholarships to our doctors in the fields of Oncology, Fertility, Embryology, and Diabetes, which gave us our first Fertility specialists & Embryologists. Together, we also conducted the Health Media Training for our journalists to create a culture shift, to break the silence, and be the voice of the voiceless in order to raise awareness on sensitive social and health issues like Infertility Stigma, Supporting Girl Education, Women Empowerment, Ending Child Marriage, Ending FGM and Stopping GBV, Diabetes early detection and prevention.”
 
The 10th Edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2023 was streamed live on the social media handles of Merck Foundation and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Link to the Facebook live stream of Inaugural Session of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary & African First Ladies High Level Panel: https://fb.watch/nL6hrmZEmv/.
 
Summarizing Merck Foundation’s initiatives and impact:

Merck Foundation is transforming the Patient care landscape and making history together with its partners in Africa, Asia, and beyond, through:
 

  • 1700+ Scholarships provided by Merck Foundation for doctors from 50 Countries in 42 critical and underserved medical specialties.
Merck Foundation is also creating a culture shift and breaking the silence about a wide range of social and health issues in Africa and underserved communities through:

 

  • 3000+ Media Persons from more than 30 countries trained to better raise awareness about different social and health issues.
  • 8 Different Awards launched annually for best media coverage, fashion designers, films, and songs.
  • Around 30 songs to address health and social issues, by local singers across Africa.
  • 8 Children’s Storybooks in three languages – English, French, and Portuguese.
  • 7 Awareness Animation films in four languages – English, French, Portuguese and Spanish to raise awareness about prevention and early detection of Diabetes & Hypertension and supporting girl education.
  • Pan African TV Program “Our Africa by Merck Foundation” addressing Social and Health Issues in Africa through “Fashion and ART with Purpose” Community.
  • 1000+ Girls from 15 African countries supported through scholarships or school items, annually.
  • 12 Social Media Channels with more than 5 Million Followers.
 
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https://www.merck-foundation.com/MF_StoreRedirection


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