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H.E. DJENE CONDE, The First Lady of Guinea and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother with Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother
Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E. Merck KG and the Chairman of Merck Foundation Board of Trustees and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother with H.E. DJENE CONDE, The First Lady of Guinea and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany met The First Lady of Guinea to plan the launch of their programs and initiatives in the country. The meeting was held between The First Lady of Guinea, H.E. Madam DJENE CONDE and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.
The First Lady of Guinea, H.E. Madam DJENE CONDE and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “Guinea is all set to welcome the programs of Merck Foundation. These programs are going to be very beneficial for our people and their social and economic well-being. Merck Foundation will help us build healthcare capacity and break the stigma of infertility in the country.”
Merck Foundation had appointed The First Lady of Guinea as the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother in 2017.
H.E. DJENE CONDE, The First Lady of Guinea and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother with Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother during the meeting
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother explained, “I am happy to work closely with Her Excellency First Lady of Guinea. We acknowledge her great efforts as “Merck More Than a Mother” Ambassador to empower infertile women in the country. With the launch of our programs, we will underscore our long -term partnership to build healthcare capacity and train doctors in the fields of Cancer Care, Fertility, and Diabetes care.”
Merck Foundation will be working closely with the Office of First Lady to support the establishment of first ever public IVF center in the country by providing technical advice and training to medical and paramedical staff.
Merck Foundation also plans to introduce other unique initiatives in the country to get the desired culture shift with regard to the stigma related to infertility.
“Few initiatives include announcing the Merck more than a Mother Media Recognition Award and Media Health Training in partnership with The First Lady of Guinea together with Ministry Health and Ministry of Communication & Information. Creating songs and movies in partnership with local artists to address the stigma related to infertility and educate people across the country. Also, involving fashion industry to deliver the message of breaking the stigma of infertile women to the community in day to day life which will be achieved by organizing ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Fashion Awards”, explained Dr. Rasha Kelej.
“Another innovative initiative is to launch an inspiring cartoon story book for children to empower our boys at elementary level, to develop true respect for women and teach them family values of love and respect and few facts about Infertility, prevention and how it affects both men and women equally” Dr. Rasha Kelej added.
Merck foundation has provided clinical training on fertility specialty in the past two years and will continue this program in partnership with ministry of health to improve access to quality and equitable fertility care in the country.
Merck Foundation will also continue enrolling doctors from Guinea in their two year oncology fellowship program and master degree as a contribution to improve cancer care in the country.
Merck foundation will also continue to enroll doctors for their Diabetes Blue Points Project.
About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign;
“Merck More Than a Mother” initiative aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and health and by changing mind-sets. This powerful initiative supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe and effective fertility care. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention and management. In partnership with academia, ministries of health and international fertility societies, the initiative also provides medical education and training for healthcare providers and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.
With “Merck More than a mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility on all levels: By improving awareness, training the skills of local experts, building advocacy in cooperation with decision makers and by supporting childless women in starting their own small business. 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 More Than a Mother” are: H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana; H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi; H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic; H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad; H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo; H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana; H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia; H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry; H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Republic of Liberia; H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi; H.E. MARIAM MINT AHMAD TEKBER, The First lady of the Mauritania; H.E. DR. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique; H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADO, The First Lady of Niger; H.E FATIMA MAADA, The First Lady of Sierra Leone; H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGW, The First Lady of Zimbabwe; H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia.
Also, part of the campaign is our Merck Embryology & Fertility Training Program, a three-month hands-on practical course in partnership with IRSI, Indonesia, IIRRH, India and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (Manipal University), India to establish the platform of fertility specialists across Africa and developing countries. Merck Foundation provided for more than 109 candidates, in clinical and practical training for fertility specialists and embryologists in more than 30 countries across Africa and Asia such as: Chad, Niger, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire , Ghana, Ethiopia , Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania , Zambia , Nigeria, Benin, Mali, Burkina Fuso, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cameron, Rwanda, Botswana, DR Congo , Congo Brazzaville, Gambia , Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Merck Foundation is making history in many African countries where they never had fertility specialists or specialized fertility clinics before ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ intervention, to train the first fertility specialists such as; in Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Chad, Guinea, Ethiopia and Uganda.
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 more than a Mother such as;
About Merck Oncology Fellowship Program
The Merck Oncology Fellowship Program, a key initiative of Merck Cancer Access Program, focuses on building additional capacity through medical education and training. The lack of financial means is not the only challenge in Africa and developing countries, but a scarcity of trained health care personnel capable to tackle the prevention, early diagnosis and management of cancer at all levels of the health care systems is even a bigger challenge.
Merck Oncology Fellowship Program focuses on building professional cancer care capacity with the aim to increase the limited number of oncologists in Africa and Developing countries. The program provides One-year fellowship program at Tata Memorial Centre - India, One and half-years Oncology Fellowship programs at University of Malaya - Malaysia, Two years Oncology Fellowship Program at University of Nairobi - Kenya and Two years Master degree in Medical, Surgical, Pediatric and Radiation Oncology at Cairo University - Egypt, in partnership with African Ministries of Health, Local Governments and Academia.
Launched in 2016, over 43 candidates from more than 21 African countries have rolled in the Merck Oncology Fellowship Program. The program will continue to build cancer care capability in African countries such as Botswana, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
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The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website. Please visit www.merck-foundation.com to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flicker.
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