Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, together with Africa’s First Ladies, who are their Ambassadors, mark ‘International Women’s Day 2024’, through their historic campaign “More Than a Mother”.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of “More Than a Mother” stated, “Happy International Women’s Day to all the women in the world and to the men who support and empower them.

We at Merck Foundation, together with First Ladies of Africa, mark Women’s Day every day through our “More Than a Mother” campaign, which is a strong and unique movement that aims to empower women living with infertility stigma through access to information, education, change of mindset, and economic empowerment.”

Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” is a powerful campaign that defines interventions to build quality and equitable Reproductive and Fertility Care Capacity, Break Infertility Stigma and Raise Awareness about Infertility Prevention and Male Infertility.

“I am happy that we at the Merck Foundation, are contributing to building and advancing fertility care capacity in Africa and Asia, to support childless women and couples. I am very proud to share that we have provided till today more than 545 scholarships of Embryology, Fertility and Reproductive care to young doctors from 39 different countries.

Many of our Alumni are trained to be the first local experts in their countries, where they never used to have local embryologists  or fertility specialists before our program, such as The Gambia, Burundi, Guinea, Chad, Niger, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Malawi, Congo and more.

Together with African First Ladies, and other important partners, we are making history and reshaping the landscape of fertility&Reproductive care across Africa and beyond”, added Dr. Kelej.

According to WHO data, more than 180 million couples in developing countries – that is 1 in every 4 couple, suffer from infertility. In many cultures in Africa, infertility is a huge stigma. Women are solely blamed for failing to conceive and the social stigma of childlessness, especially for women leads to isolation and stigmatization and results in discrimination and ostracism. This mostly also leads to divorce or physical or psychological violence. As a part of “More Than a  Mother” Campaign, Merck Foundation has launched many initiatives to break this stigma and create a culture shift.

Merck Foundation has also been empowering childless and infertile women through their “Empowering Berna” initiative under their “More Than a Mother” movement. This initiative helps women who cannot be treated for infertility anymore by helping them get trained to establish small businesses so that they can be independent and rebuild their lives. Through ‘Empowering Berna’, the lives of many infertile women have been transformed in many African countries like Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Niger, Malawi, and many more.

“It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to lead a fulfilling life, with or without a child,” added Dr. Kelej.

Moreover, Merck Foundation has trained more than 3000 media representatives from more than 35 countries to raise community awareness and break the stigma around infertility and infertile and childless women.

Merck Foundation in partnership with Africa’s First Ladies, has also launched ‘More Than Mother’ Children’s storybook to emphasize strong family values of love and respect from a young age which will reflect on eliminating the stigma of infertility and the resulted domestic violence in the future. The storybooks have been localized for each country and in three languages, English, French and Portuguese to better connect with the young readers. The book will soon also be converted to an animation film.

Read More Than a Mother Story here: https://apo-opa.co/3v0sRgi

Merck Foundation’s pan African TV program “Our Africa”, that is conceptualized, produced, directed, and co-hosted by Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and features African Fashion Designers, Singers, and prominent experts from various domains with the aim to raise awareness and create a culture shift across Africa, has many episodes dedicated to raise awareness about infertility and breaking infertility stigma.

Merck Foundation’s pan African TV program “Our Africa”, that is conceptualized, produced, directed, and co-hosted by Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and features African Fashion Designers, Singers, and prominent experts from various domains with the aim to raise awareness and create a culture shift across Africa, has many episodes dedicated to raise awareness about infertility and breaking infertility stigma.

Watch the episodes here:

Episode 3: https://apo-opa.co/3TslhVa

Episode 5: https://apo-opa.co/3Tr51n3

Episode 10: https://apo-opa.co/43bhTRu

Merck Foundation has also released about 30 songs, many of these songs have been created with the aim to break the infertility stigma, as a part of their “More Than a Mother” campaign. Listen to some of the songs here:

Watch, share&subscribe to the ‘Plus qu’une MERE’ composed and sung by Ms. Lucky-Lou, the daughter of The President and The First Lady of Burundihttps://apo-opa.co/3T8zMft

Watch, share&subscribe to the “More Than a Mother” song by Cwesi Oteng and Adina from Ghanahttps://apo-opa.co/3N0NrmB

Watch, share&subscribe to the “More Than a Mother” song by Zambian Soul Singer Wezihttps://apo-opa.co/3IrjE3C

Watch, share&subscribe to the “More Than a Mother” song by Sunita Daffeh from the Gambiahttps://apo-opa.co/3T6HDtO

Listen to all “More than a Mother” songs here: https://apo-opa.co/3T09uvK

“To address this important issue of breaking infertility stigma and also a wide range of other social issues, we annually launch Merck Foundation ‘More Than a Mother’ Awards in partnership with African First Ladies. I would also like to invite the African Community of Media, Fashion, Filmmaking, and Musicians, students, and potential talents in these fields to apply for the awards this year by sharing their creative work on [email protected]”, concluded Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.

More Images: https://apo-opa.co/3TrCtdn

Media contact:
Mehak Handa 
Community Awareness Program Manager 
+91 9310087613/ +91 9319606669  
[email protected] 

Join the conversation on our social media platforms below and let your voice be heard:
Facebook: https://apo-opa.info/3Ykd3hH
Twitter: https://apo-opa.info/3Yo3y11
YouTube: https://apo-opa.info/3CNFGLa
Instagram: https://apo-opa.info/3lsqM7q
Flickr: https://apo-opa.info/3JT8BSC
Website: Merck-Foundation.com
Download the Merck Foundation App: https://apo-opa.info/3xeJMsI

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 Merck-Foundation.com to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com); Facebook (https://apo-opa.info/3Ykd3hH), Twitter (https://apo-opa.info/3Yo3y11), Instagram (https://apo-opa.info/3lsqM7q), YouTube (https://apo-opa.info/3CNFGLa), and Flickr (https://apo-opa.info/3JT8BSC).

By

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *