African First Ladies and Ministers of Health, Gender, Information and Education from 20 African countries will attend the conference
ACCRA, Ghana, August 26, 2019/ — The 6th edition of Merck Africa Asia Luminary will be co-chaired by H.E. MADAM REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com); The President of Ghana, H.E. MR. NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO will officially inaugurate the “Merck Africa Asia Luminary”; 2nd Anniversary of Merck Foundation will be marked during the Luminary; African First Ladies and Ministers of Health, Gender, Information and Education from 20 African countries will attend the conference; More than 1000 healthcare providers and policy makers from 60 countries will benefit from the Luminary.
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany plans to conduct the 6th Edition of “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” in ACCRA, GHANA on 29th & 30th of October 2019. It will be co-chaired by H.E. MADAM REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.
“Together with First Ladies Of Africa and Ministers of different sectors, we will work on strong strategy to build healthcare capacity and provide the necessary training to establish a strong platform of experts in Diabetes, Hypertension, Cancer and Fertility care in their countries and define interventions to break infertility stigma. During the two days Luminary, the Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative Committee will be conducted to discuss different topics of discussion, follow up, monitoring and decisions.” Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized.
Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E. Merck KG will inaugurate the luminary and will participate in the Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative Committee which will conducted during the two days Luminary.
During Merck Africa Asia Luminary, in order to contribute to the social and economic development of Africa and Asia, more than 1000 Healthcare providers, policy makers, academia, researchers and health media from Sub- Saharan Africa, more than 60 English, French and Portuguese speaking countries will benefit from the two days conference to benefit from valuable educational and social development sessions by top International experts in Diabetes, Fertility, Oncology and women health, Cardiology with the aim to raise health awareness and improve disease management, early detection and prevention, build healthcare capacity and improve access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions across the continent .
During the Inauguration Session on the 29th of October, a High–Level Ministerial Panel will be conducted where the Ministers of Health, Information, Gender, Education & Science will share solutions and activities to help in Building Healthcare Capacity. Also, there will be a discussion about the challenges & solutions of Infertility, Oncology, Diabetes and Hypertension care in Africa and Asia.
During the conference, Merck Foundation will also mark an important occasion; the 2nd Anniversary of Merck Foundation.
Moreover, winners of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Media Recognition, Fashion and Film Awards of Ghana will be announced during the Award ceremony on 29th of October.
African and Asian 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, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, U.A.E, UK, Uganda, US, Zambia, Zimbabwe and more.
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; 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 135 candidates, in clinical and practical training for fertility specialists and embryologists in more than 35 countries across Africa and Asia such as: Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, CAR, Cote D’IVOIRE, Democratic Republic of Congo, 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.
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;
• Merck More than a Mother media recognition award and health media training
• Merck More than a Mother fashion award
• Merck More than a Mother film award
• Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
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 70 candidates from more than 25 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, Burundi, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
About Merck Foundation: