Zambia President, H.E. Dr. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU inaugurates the 8th edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary” with 13 African First ladies

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French | Portuguese Version


8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021
  • Merck Foundation annual conference was inaugurated by the President of the Republic of Zambia, H.E. Dr. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU and Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp Chairman of both of Executive Board of E.Merck KG and Merck Foundation Board of Trustees.
  • he 8th Edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary” was co-chaired by H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.
  • African First Ladies of Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Namibia were the Guests of Honour for the Luminary.
  • More than 100,000 participants including healthcare providers, policymakers, and academia from 70 countries attended the Luminary, which was live streamed. Over 300,000 viewers on our social media channels.

8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021 Videoconference
 

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KgaA kickstarted the 8th Edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary” on 27th April 2021, through an online videoconference. It was co-chaired by H.E. Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.

During his keynote speech, while inaugurating the conference, The President of Zambia, H.E Dr. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU emphasized, “I am very glad to be hosting this important conference together with Merck Foundation, our long term strategic partner. It is a great honor to inaugurate the conference alongside the First Ladies of Africa. I am certain that this conference will help us to further explore partnership opportunities and introduce new frameworks for cooperation in the area of health care capacity building and to define interventions to break infertility stigma and support girl education”.


Watch Video - The President of the Republic of Zambia, H.E Dr. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021
 

Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp Chairman of both of Executive Board of E.Merck KG and Merck Foundation Board of Trustees expressed “I would like to welcome and also thank our partners, African First Ladies, African Ministers and health experts from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the rest of the world to join hands with us in order to realize Merck Foundation’s vision: ‘Everyone in the world should lead a happy and fulfilling life’, we have achieved together, a huge success and we are going to continue and extend our support to achieve more”.

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Watch Video - Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp Chairman of both of Executive Board of E.Merck KG and Merck Foundation Board of Trustees speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021

 

H.E. Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia and Co-chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021 emphasized  “I am very happy to co-chair and host this important conference of Merck Foundation and also to celebrate together the 4th anniversary of Merck Foundation, our long term partner in building healthcare capacity and improving access to health, information and breaking the infertility stigma. Also, I am delighted to have my dear sisters, The First Ladies of Africa at this conference”.


Watch Video - H.E. Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia and Co-chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021 speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021


Merck Foundation CEO, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized, “We welcomed The First Ladies of 13 African Countries, who are also the Ambassadors of  Merck Foundation More than a Mother, to this important conference. Together, we have worked closely throughout the years on a strong strategy to build healthcare capacity by providing specialized training in various specialties; and define interventions to break infertility stigma and support girls’ education.

I am very proud that we have so far provided for more than 1100 Doctors from 42 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America with one & two-, three-year specialty training in multiple fields such as Oncology, Diabetes, Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, Endocrinology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Acute Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Human Assisted Reproduction and Embryology & Fertility specialty, to be the first in their countries. Moreover, we have now widened our horizons by introducing more scholarships for young doctors in many new underserved specialties across Africa and Asia.”


Watch Video - Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Co-chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021 speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021
 

H.E. Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother stated, "I am very proud of our partnership with Merck Foundation through which we have been able to achieve many outcomes in the country for the social and economic welfare of our people. Through my ambassadorship of Merck Foundation More than a Mother, we have been able to launch many initiatives to sensitize our communities about the sensitive issue of infertility and the stigma attached to it, and also emphasize on the importance of girls' education. Moreover, we are reshaping the healthcare landscape of Zambia, as together we have enrolled and provided training to more than 90 young doctors from all provinces with specialty training in the fields of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory, Acute medicines, Sexual and Reproductive Medicines, Fertility and Embryology. We are scaling up to more doctors and more critical specialties such as; Paediatric, Internal Medicines, and gastroenterology."


Watch Video - H.E. Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia and Co-chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021 speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021

H.E. Mrs. ANA DIAS LOURENÇO, The First Lady of Angola emphasized, “I am happy to virtually meet and join my sisters, First Ladies of Africa, as a Guest of Honour for the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary. we are working with Merck Foundation to shape the “Educating Linda” Program which aims to empower girls through education and eliminate child marriage and early pregnancy, this cause is very close to my heart and I consider it one of my main objectives as I strongly believe that Education is one of the most critical areas of women empowerment”.


Watch Video - H.E. Mrs. ANA DIAS LOURENÇO, The First Lady of the Republic of Angola speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021


H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said ”We started our partnership with Merck Foundation in 2018 and since then we have achieved very important milestones and we made a concrete impact in building quality and equitable healthcare capacity, advocation to break the stigma of infertility, and stopping Gender-Based Violence. Together we provided scholarships to more than 39 local Doctors in Botswana in different critical specialties which improve women's health and advanced reproductive care in addition to advancing healthcare in many critical fields such as: Oncology, Endocrinology, Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Incentive Care and more”.


Watch Video - H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of the Republic of Botswana speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021


H.E. Madam SIKA KABORE, The First Lady of Burkina Faso & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother stated “I am also very proud to be appointed the Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother, to empower infertile women through access to information, education, change of mindset, and economic empowerment and empower our girls through education. I am looking forward to starting our important long-term partnership with Merck Foundation and we are ready to capitalize on these valuable programs by scaling them up nationwide to contribute to the social and economic development of Burkina Faso”.


Watch Video - H.E. Madam SIKA KABORE, The First Lady of Burkina Faso speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021
 

H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said “I am very proud of our partnership with Merck Foundation. Through our long-term partnership with Merck Foundation, 33 doctors have benefitted from the scholarships that Merck Foundation is providing in Oncology, Fertility specialty, embryology and reproductive and sexual medicines and Diabetes management. We will continue to work closely with Merck Foundation to create a culture shift with the aim to support girl education and empower women through access to education, health and change of mindset through media training and media awards, children storybooks, songs and films & fashion awards, and other innovative initiatives.”


Watch Video - H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of the Republic of Burundi speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021
 

H.E. Madam BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother emphasized “We started our partnership with Merck Foundation in 2016, to advance the healthcare sector and empower infertile women in my country. Together, we initiated an important project “Empowering Berna” where we established small businesses for infertile women and train them to run their businesses so they can have income and become independent. Their lives have transformed since then. We are planning to provide school fees for 20 girls every year.  Moreover, so far we have enrolled 13 local doctors in specialty training of oncology and diabetes and I will continue working closely with our ministry of health to identify the right candidates who will join the oncology, diabetes and fertility training and fellowship”.


Watch Video - H.E. Madam BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021


H.E. Madam DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, The First Lady of the Democratic Republic of The Congo & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said, “I am extremely happy to be a part of this platform. I am happy with the impact we have had in a very short time. We have enrolled more than 40 doctors in various specialties. 7 have been enrolled for fertility and embryology training, 1 for oncology and more than 32 doctors, representing each province in DRC, have been enrolled for diabetes specialty training. After completing the training, these doctors will transform the Diabetes care in my country”.


Watch Video - H.E. Madam DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, The First Lady of the Democratic Republic of The Congo speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021
 

H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother emphasized, “I have been working closely with Merck Foundation to empower infertile women as the attitude of the people towards these women is not progressive or informed. I am honoured to be the Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother, through this campaign I intend to help the women of my country. Moreover, we have been able to provide more than 60 doctors with scholarships for specialty training in the fields of Cancer, Diabetes, cardiology, endocrinology, respiratory, acute medicines, sexual and reproductive medicines, Fertility and embryology. All these fields are very critical to our country.  This will certainly contribute to our battle against coronavirus and other diseases”.  


Watch Video - H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021

 

H.E. Madam DJÈNÈ CONDÉ, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother explained, “I am delighted to share the magnificent outcomes of my long-term partnership with Merck Foundation. Together we have been able to empower infertile women through access to information, education, health, and change of mindset and establishing small businesses for them through the “Empowering Berna” program. Also, we have enrolled 18 local doctors into Merck Foundation Scholarship of different specialties; Oncology, Diabetes and Fertility & Embryology to be the first in the country in these fields. I feel proud to say that we are making history with Merck Foundation in our country at many levels”.


Watch Video - H.E. Madam DJÈNÈ CONDÉ, The First Lady of the Republic of Guinea Conakry speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021
 

H.E. Mrs. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said, “On behalf of people of Liberia, I welcome the long-term partnership with Merck Foundation to build health care capacity, the importance of which we realized more during this uncertain time. We are fortunate to have the programs of Merck Foundation in our country, which strongly focus on building our healthcare capacity and train our healthcare providers at all levels, more than 35 Liberian Doctors have benefited from scholarships of specialty training, of one-year diploma and two-year master degree in many critical and underserved specialties such as: Diabetes, Cardiovascular Preventive, Sexual and Reproductive Medicines, Endocrinology, Respiratory Medicines and Acute Medicines, Oncology and Fertility Specialists & Embryology Training and in the future in Paediatric, Internal Medicine, Advanced Surgery, Orthopedic, Psychiatry, Pain Management and Opthalmology. This is history in the making”.

Watch Video - H.E. Mrs. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of the Republic of Liberia speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021
 

H.E. Mrs. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother expressed, “I am extremely happy of my partnership with Merck Foundation. Together, we have so far provides more than 16 local doctors with the scholarship of online one-year diploma and two year master degree in many needed medical specialties such as Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Endocrinology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicines, Respiratory Medicines and Acute Medicines, they are currently undergoing their studies. And we are working with Ministry of Health to select the next batches for more specialities. Also, I am particularly very excited about our joint initiative “Educating Linda” where we are sponsoring the education of 20 best performing girls in their secondary schools till they graduate. I believe that Education is Power, and educating girls is empowering them to make their own decision and be independent”.


Watch Video H.E. Mrs. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of the Republic of Malawi speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021
 

H.E. Mrs. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother emphasized, “Together with Merck Foundation, I am fully committed to will work closely to introduce innovative ideas that will engage different sectors to create a culture shift with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and make a great impact in a short time. Currently, we have 14 doctors from each provenance who enrolled in the Diabetes Master Course for the first time in Portuguese, through Merck Foundation Diabetes Blue Points Program. We will soon enroll doctors for training in other specialties too”.


Watch Video - H.E. Mrs. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of the Republic of Mozambique speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021
 

H.E. Mrs. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother said “I am very happy to share the impact of our partnership with Merck Foundation, More than 37 local young Namibian doctors will be provided with one-year online diploma from South Wales University, in the fields of Diabetes, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory Medicines, Acute Medicines and Sexual and Reproductive Medicines. We will establish our first local platform of specialists and experts in those fields which is very important to improve access to quality and equitable healthcare to Coronavirus Patients and risk groups too. For Namibia, 2.4 M population, we will soon have more than 11 skilled and trained doctors to assist couples living with infertility or need any sexual & reproductive help, this will be a significant contribution that I am proud of as an Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother. We are also worth closely with Merck Foundation to raise awareness about breaking Infertility stigma and encourage couples to support each other’s during the journey of making happy family ”.


Watch Video - H.E. Mrs. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of the Republic of Namibia speech during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021

The 8th Edition of the Luminary marked another important milestone: the 4th Anniversary of Merck Foundation.

As part of the Luminary, Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative Committee (MFFLI) High-Level Panel was conducted, which was attended by the 13 African First Ladies, who are the Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.

The Day 1 of the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary was attended by more than 100,000 participants, Healthcare providers, policymakers, academia, researchers, and media from more than 70 Countries in three languages English french and Portuguese. Our live-streamed session was attended by over 300,000 viewers on our social media channels.

On Day 2 of the conference, MARS- Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit was held where a High-Level Panel Discussion with Ministers of Health, Science and Technology, Education, Information And Gender and MARS Researchers participated with the objective to empower African young researchers & women researchers, advancing their research capacity and empower them in STEM.


Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit 2021 - High-Level Ministerial Panel - VC Summit 2021
 

On the third day, 29th April, Merck Foundation Health Media Training was organized for the African and Latin American Media fraternity to emphasize the important role that media plays to break the stigma around infertility, in raising awareness about infertility prevention, and empowering girls and women through education.


Health Media Training Session, Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary - VC Summit 2021
 

Other important scientific sessions in different medical fields were held in parallel on Day 2 and Day 3 of the Luminary.

Countries participating include Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central Africa Republic, Cambodia, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guinea – Bissau, Guinea – Conakry, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, U.A.E, UK, Uganda, US, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe and more.

The 8th Edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary was streamed live on 29th April 2021 - Click here to watch Facebook live streamed video

Watch videos of Merck Africa Asia Luminary 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016


Merck Africa Asia Luminary 2019 in Ghana
 

Merck Foundation Annual Conference 'Merck Africa Asia Luminary 2018' in Senegal
 

Merck Foundation Launch at 4th Edition of Merck Africa Asia Luminary 2017 in Egypt
 

Merck Africa Luminary 2016 in Côte d’Ivoire

Overview of Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative - MFFLI Summit


MFFLI 2019

MFFLI Ghana 2019
 

MFFLI 2020 Online
 
Read more about the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary

Merck Africa Asia Luminary in Ghana 2019
Merck Africa Asia Luminary in Senegal 2018
Merck Africa Asia Luminary in Egypt 2017
Merck Africa Asia Luminary in Cote D’Ivoire  2016

 

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About Merck Foundation

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 FoundationFacebookTwitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flicker.