Merck Foundation underscores their long-term commitment to build healthcare capacity and empower women in Angola

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Merck Foundation (https://www.Merck-Foundation.com/) discussed their healthcare development and women empowerment programs with The First Lady of Angola; Merck Foundation met the Minister of Health of Angola to discuss their healthcare capacity building program

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany underscored their long-term commitment to build healthcare capacity and empower women during a high-level meeting held between Merck Foundation CEO, Dr. Rasha Kelej and The First Lady of Angola, H.E. ANA DIAS LOURENÇO.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation explained, “It gave me a great honor to meet the First Lady of Angola, H.E. ANA DIAS LOURENÇO last week to discuss with them the long-term partnership to empower women and girls in education. I was very inspired with the passion the First Lady has to motivate and empower girls to complete their education and reach their potential. I am looking forward to work closely with her to tailor our program “Educating Linda” for Angola”.

H.E. ANA DIAS LOURENÇO, The First Lady of Angola shared “It is great initiative by Merck Foundation to empower women by improving their access to information, knowledge and through capacity building. We welcome the initiatives for Merck Foundation to our country.

Moreover, I had a fruitful discussion with the Minister of Health of Angola, Hon. Dr Silvia Lutucuta to kickoff partnership between Merck Foundation and Ministry of Health with the aim to provide specialty training in the fields of Cancer care, Fertility care and Diabetes care across Angola”.

“We are excited to partner with Merck Foundation and are happy with their strong commitment and will provide all the required support for the efficient execution of their programs in the country” said Hon. Dr Silvia Lutucuta.

Dr. Rasha Kelej also visited Agostinho Neto University in Luanda and met Prof. Nicolau Santos, Dean, School of Medicine along with his academic staff and Medical Undergraduate and Post graduates students to explore their challenges and needs to improve access to equitable and quality healthcare solutions in Angola.

“I am happy and excited to announce to them the first on line diabetes management master program in Portuguese Language which is specially developed for African Portuguese speaking countries Angola and Mozambique. Merck Foundation is making history again. I am so proud of our work and impact in Africa” concluded Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.

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About Merck Oncology Fellowship Program: 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’s degree in medical Oncology at Cairo University – Egypt, in partnership with African Ministries of Health, Local Governments and Academia.

Launched in 2016, over 80 candidates from more than 26 African countries has 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, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe.

About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign: Merck More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign 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, management and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists 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 local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. 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. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia

H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia

H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi

H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry

H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADO, The First Lady of Niger

H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic

H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia

H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria

H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad

H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi

H.E FATIMA MAADA, The First Lady of Sierra Leone

H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville

H.E. DR. MAESAIAH THABANE, The First Lady of Lesotho

H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGW, The First Lady of Zimbabwe

H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, The First Lady of DRC

H.E. KEÏTA AMINATA MAIGA, The First Lady of Mali

H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia

H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana

H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique

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 COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAPAIGN, 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 • Children storybook, localized for each country

About Merck Foundation The Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com), 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 Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com), Facebook (bit.ly/347DsTd), Twitter (bit.ly/2REHwaK), Instagram (bit.ly/2t3E0fX), YouTube (bit.ly/2E05GVg) and Flicker (bit.ly/2RJjWtH).

About Merck Merck (MerckGroup.com) is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 52,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma.

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