I am very happy and proud to celebrate with the First Lady of Niger H.E. AISSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU, who is also the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother, and Dr. Illiassou Idi Mainassar, the Minister of Public Health on the inauguration of the first public IVF / ART Center in Niger.
This center is the result of tripartite cooperation between the Ministry of Public Health, the Guri Vie Meilleur Foundation and Merck Foundation. I am proud that Merck Foundation supported the fertility care capacity building and trained the first fertility specialists and embryologists to work in the first IVF / ART center in Niger.
It is for the first time that Niger will have a public assisted reproduction center, open to the entire Niger population without exception and offering services that are largely affordable in terms of cost. This center is a national source of pride for Niger that will soon end the suffering of infertile couples.
Merck Foundation, in partnership with the African First Ladies, the Ministries of Health, Academia, and Fertility Societies, is making history and reshaping the landscape of fertility care in many African and Asian countries where they never had fertility specialists or specialized fertility clinics. So far, Merck Foundation, under ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ program, has provided clinical and practical training for more than 180 fertility specialists and embryologists from more than 35 countries across Africa and Asia such as: Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, CAR, Cote D'IVOIRE, DRC, Congo Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malaysia, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Niger, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, The Gambia, Togo, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe.
Moreover, Merck Foundation has provided scholarship of online One-year Diploma in Sexual and Reproductive medicines from UK University to more than 95 doctors from 17 countries in Africa and Asia, another great milestone to transform women's health in general and reproductive health and fertility care in specific.
As part of ‘Merck More Than A Mother’ campaign, we will continue our commitment to break the stigma around infertility & infertile women and to improve their access to information, change of mindset, and quality & equitable fertility care solutions across Africa and Asia.
Dr. Rasha Kelej
CEO of Merck Foundation
President of Merck More Than A Mother
One of the 100 Most influential Africans (2019, 2020)