“Merck Africa Luminary” brings African Countries together to Contribute towards building healthcare Capacity in the Continent

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  • Merck conducted its 3rd Luminary for the first time in Francophone Africa.
  • More than 460 African healthcare providers, policy makers and researchers from more than 30 countries attended “Merck Africa Luminary 2016” to benefit from several educational and social development sessions.
  • "Merck More than a Mother" is launched for Francophone Africa with the aim to empower infertile women by improving access to information, health and change of mind set.
  • Merck also announced the start of their Cancer Access Program which aims to improve cancer care throughout Africa.


Dignitaries at the Merck Africa Luminary 2016 (from left to right): Hon. Joyce Lay, Member of Parliament, Kenya; Hon. Julia Duncan-Cassell, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Liberia; Hon. Sarah Opendi, Minister of Health, Uganda; Hon. Raymond Goudou Coffie, Minister of Health, Cote D’Ivoire; HE Dominique Ouattara, First Lady, Cote D’Ivoire; HE Madame Brigitte Touadera, First Lady, Central African Republic; Dr Belen Garijo, CEO, Merck Healthcare; Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare; Yiannis Vlontos, Head Intercontinental Region, Merck Healthcare;  and Hon. Virginie Baiokua, Minister of Social Affairs & National Reconciliation, Central African Republic
 


Watch this video of the opening session of the Merck Africa Luminary 2016
  

Watch this video of Prof. Dr Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board of E.Merck KG at the Merck Luminary

 Merck has emphasized its commitment to support the social and economic development of Africa by improving access to innovative and equitable healthcare in the continent. Speaking at the inauguration of this year’s third Merck Africa Luminary which was held for the first time for Francophone and Anglophone Africa in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire in October 2016, Prof. Dr Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board and Family Board of E.Merck KG emphasized, “Merck is a value driven company and that is one of the reasons why Merck is committed to support the social and economic development of Africa by improving access to innovative and equitable healthcare in the continent.”
 

Watch this video of Hon. Raymonde Goudou Coffie, Minister of Health, Cote D'Ivoire
 

Minister of Health of Côte d'Ivoire, Dr. Raymonde Goudou Coffie stated at the event “We are delighted to host the annual “Merck Africa Luminary” for the first time in West Africa addressing Francophone African countries. Our strategic partnership with Merck will add value to our country not only for boosting the healthcare sector but also for the country’s economic progression.” 

Watch this video of Dr. Belen Garijo, Member of Merck Executive Board & CEO of Merck Healthcare at Merck Africa Luminary

 
Dr. Belén Garijo, Member of Executive Board and CEO of Merck Healthcare emphasized: “Merck is pleased to partner with the Ministry of Health and Government of Côte d'Ivoire to provide improved access to healthcare as part of our long term commitment to the social and economic development in this country and in Africa at large. Merck will continue to work closely with African governments, healthcare stakeholders and academia to contribute to enhancing the quality of healthcare across the African continent.”


Watch H. E. Dominique Ouattara, First Lady of Côte D’Ivoire at Merck Africa Luminary 

In her inauguration speech, Her Excellency Dominique Ouattara, the First Lady of Cote D’Ivoire said: “It gives me pleasure to participate in this year’s third Merck Africa Luminary which is being held for the first time in Francophone West Africa and has mobilised people from over 30 African countries for the social and economic development of Africa.”
 
“Our partnership with Merck that we are getting into today will build capacity for health care professionals and contribute to improving health management and facilitate access to existing and forthcoming healthcare solutions in Cote D’Ivoire and also in Africa,” she added. 


Merck Africa Luminary 2016 participants in Abidjan
 
 Merck brought more than 460 African healthcare providers, policy makers and researchers  from more than 30 Francophone and Anglophone African countries to benefit from valuable educational and social development sessions in both French and English languages with the aim to improve disease management, early detection and prevention with special focus on Diabetes, Hypertension, Cancer, Fertility and Life Science Research. 
 

 Watch this video of Dr. Rasha Kelej - Chief Social Officer & Vice President Merck Healthcare at the Merck Africa Luminary
 

 “Conducting Merck Africa Luminary in Côte d’Ivoire will add great value to Merck’s initiatives to build healthcare capacity in Francophone African countries. It will also enhance collaboration between Anglophone and Francophone countries across the continent. Moreover it will help to establish a network across Africa, America, Asia, and Europe to improve diseases awareness and the quality of healthcare, especially for non-communicable diseases,” said Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare.

“Merck More than a Mother” campaign launched for Francophone African countries

Watch H. E. Madame Brigitte Toudera, First Lady of the Central African Republic during her address at the Merck Africa Luminary
 

During the Merck Africa Luminary, Merck launched the “Merck More than a Mother” campaign for Francophone African countries, championed by Her Excellency Madame Brigitte Touadera, the First Lady of the Central African Republic. The initiative aims to empower infertile women in Africa by improving their access to information, education and healthcare, and by changing mind-sets to de-stigmatize infertility.
 
”I am happy to champion the “Merck More than a Mother” initiative as it seeks to expand into Francophone Africa. I believe this initiative will contribute significantly towards eliminating the social suffering and stigmatization of infertile women and raise awareness about infertility prevention, male infertility and the necessity for a team approach to family building among couples. This is very critical for my country and for Africa at large,” said Madame Brigitte Touadera.
 
“Merck More than a Mother” campaign will work closely with policy makers, members of parliament, governments, academia, healthcare providers and media in order to define interventions to reduce the social suffering of infertile women and improve access to regulated fertility care via supporting artificial reproductive therapy (ART) policies across the continent. It will also work with all relevant stakeholders to make a change in the negative mindset and the culture of stigmatizing infertile women and infertility at large.

Merck announces start of “Merck Cancer Access Program”
At this year’s Luminary Merck also announced the start of their “Cancer Access Program”. The initiative aims to increase the number of qualified oncologists through providing an African medical oncology fellowship program in partnership with the University of Nairobi, Kenya and Tata Memorial Hospital in India. 
 
“Themed ‘Together we commit to Africa’, Merck Africa Luminary is an annual forum where African healthcare providers, policy makers and researchers meet to discuss and develop different strategies and programs to build healthcare capacity and improve access to innovative and equitable healthcare solutions across the continent. 

The first Merck Africa Luminary was held in Darmstadt, Germany in 2014 and the second in Nairobi, Kenya in 2015,” emphasized Rasha Kelej Chief Social Officer of Merck Healthcare.