Merck Foundation and African First Ladies plan to launch media recognition of “Mask Up With Care” to mark “World Health Day” 2021 for enhancing COVID 19 awareness

PUBLISHED: Wed, 14 Apr 2021 08:00:47 GMT

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Merck Foundation (, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, mark ‘World Health Day’ 2021 together with 19 African First Ladies by starting the “Mask Up With Care” Media Recognition Awards for African Media Representatives for advancing Community awareness about coronavirus.

The awards are also announced for Media Representatives from Latin American and Asian Countries. The theme of the awards is to raise awareness on how to adapt best protection measures such as wearing your masks to show you care and love your family & community; to encourage your community to choose to vaccinate when it is available and to sensitize them to support healthcare workers who are at the forefront of COVID 19 pandemic.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation emphasized, “After the huge success of our ‘Stay at hone Awards’ Media Recognition Awards 2020 and receiving more than 1000 applications and announcing more than 90 winners across Africa, Asia and Latin America. I’d like to encourage media to apply for “Mask Up with Care” Media Recognition Awards These Media Recognition Awards will encourage media to sensitize our communities. Raising awareness about coronavirus in our communities will also contribute to supporting health workers who are at the forefront of COVID-19 response – providing high-quality, respectful treatment and care. Also, it will enhance their great efforts in leading community dialogue to address fears and questions. Looking forward to valuable inputs from all media representatives”.

Merck Foundation has been actively raising awareness on sensitive health issues like infertility and eliminating its stigma. Merck Foundation has also raced to respond to coronavirus pandemic, in partnership with 18 African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information and Education through various programs and activities.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej further elaborated, “As the world marks World Health Day, our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this unprecedented event COVID 19, which has highlighted that access to healthcare is unequal. In accordance with this year's theme 'Building a Fairer, Healthier World for Everyone', we at Merck Foundation are committed towards providing access to quality and equitable healthcare solution by providing for more than 1100 Doctors from 42 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America with one & two-year speciality 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 speciality, to be the first in their countries”.

“Furthermore, Merck Foundation together with African First Ladies started the process of providing scholarships for local doctors, of new medical underserved specialities such as; Urology, Ophthalmology, Gastroenterology, Rheumatology, Pain Management, Dermatology, Neonatal, Paediatric Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Surgery Trauma and Orthopedic, Mental Health and Psychiatry and more. We are looking forward to receiving applications from doctors in underserved communities on our email:” Dr. Kelej added.

“At Merck Foundation, we appreciate all the healthcare workers around the world who are on the frontline working towards containing this pandemic. Let us all work together towards a healthier and fairer world” said Dr. Kelej.

About Merck Foundation community support during coronavirus pandemic;
Merck Foundation made Community donations to support the livelihood of thousands of women, casual workers and persons living with disabilities, affected by Coronavirus lockdown in the following countries in partnership with their First Ladies; Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Niger, Malawi, Liberia, Ghana, The Gambia, DR Congo, Burkina Faso and Burundi. Merck Foundation also undertook a similar relief activity in Egypt.

Merck Foundation launched Stay at Home Media Recognition Awards to help raise awareness about COVID 19, and also released a storybook “Make the Right Choice” to sensitize children and youth on how to keep healthy and safe during COVID 19 pandemic across Africa.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation also created an inspiring pan African song called ‘My White Army’ which aimed to thank the doctors and nurses fighting on the front lines of the coronavirus battle, who are risking exposure to the virus so everyone else can stay home and stay healthy. “This song is my personal contribution to COVID-19 response, I appreciate and salute all front line workers- doctors, nurses and health workers, for their selfless act during the COVID 19 pandemic” concluded Dr. Kelej.

Listen to the song by clicking:

Details of the Merck Foundation “MASK UP WITH CARE” Media Recognition Awards 2021:

Who can apply:
Journalists from Print, Radio, Online, and Multimedia platforms from the following groups:

Southern African Countries West African Countries East African Countries African French Speaking Countries African Portuguese Speaking Countries Latin American Countries Asian Countries

How to Apply:

Entries can be submitted via email to:

The Subject line of the mail should mention: Merck Foundation “MASK UP WITH CARE” Media Recognition Awards 2021

Please specify your name, country, category of application, and contact details in the mail.

Categories and Prize Money for each group:


Print Media

Online Media



Prize Money

USD 500

USD 500

USD 500

USD 500

Sending multiple applications will increase the chances of winning the award.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.

Join the conversation on our social media platforms below and let your voice be heard:
Download Merck Foundation App:

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 to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation (; Facebook (, Twitter (, Instagram (, YouTube ( and Flicker (

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