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Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother with H.E. MADAM DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi and Ambassador, Merck More Than a Mother addressing the journalists during the Health Media Training
Bujumbura, Burundi, 20th March 2019: Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany will organize the first “Merck Foundation Health Media Training” on 20th March 2019 in Bujumbura, Burundi in partnership with H.E. DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother together with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Communication and Media to break the stigma around infertility in Burundi and rest of Africa. The training program is a part of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ community awareness Program and is being organized for the first time in Burundi for local media representatives. “I am delighted to initiate this important training session as I strongly believe that media plays a significant role to influence our society to create a cultural shift. It has the capacity and ability to break the stigma around infertility in the community”, explained Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More than a Mother. The training will be addressed by the First Lady of Burundi, H.E. DENISE NKURUNZIZA, who is also the Ambassador of Merck More Than A Mother and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than a Mother and Hon. Frederic NAHIMANA, Minister of Communication and Media, Burundi. It will also be addressed by stalwarts of Media and top Infertility experts. It will also provide a great opportunity for the journalists to meet the experts and also to network with each other and work as a unit to eradicate the stigma around infertility in Burundi and rest of Africa. It will be attended by journalists working for Print, TV, Radio and Online media. “The Merck Health Media Training program will focus on the international standards and media ethics for reporting sensitive issues like infertility in Africa. It is designed to benefit the journalists in understanding the infertility issues in African communities and to learn the best media practices to cover such issues.” Dr. Rasha Kelej added.
- Merck Foundation also Calls for Applications for Media Recognition Awards 2018 to eliminate infertility stigma
“The Merck Health Media Training program will focus on the international standards and media ethics for reporting sensitive issues like infertility in Africa. It is designed to benefit the journalists in understanding the infertility issues in African communities and to learn the best media practices to cover such issues”, explained H.E. MADAM DENISE NKURUNZIZA, the First Lady of Burundi. Merck Foundation also announces Call for Application for “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’for Burundi and rest of Africa. The “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ were launched in 2017 with the aim to emphasize the role of media in enhancing the public engagement and understanding of infertility stigma and the need to change its social perception in African communities.The applications are invited by media professionals to showcase their work to raise awareness about infertility prevention and breaking infertility stigma in Burundi and rest of Africa. Who can apply?Journalists from print, online, radio and multimedia platforms from Burundi and rest of Africa.Last date of submission:Entries can be submitted till 30th June 2019. How to apply?Entries can be submitted via email to email@example.comCategories and prize money for winners:
Merck Foundation conducted a ceremony to announce the winners of the ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Media Recognition Awards 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya. The ceremony was attended by over 200 journalists from 17 African countries.
Here are the details of first award winners from profession journalist’s category from each segment: The Award from the Multimedia Segment was given to Ms. Namukabo L Werungah and her team from NTV Kenya for their excellent story named ‘A tale of pain and shame of childless women in Busia’. The First Award from the Print Media Segment was received by Mr. Gardy Chacha, Senior Health and Science Reporter from Standard Newspaper, Kenya. He was selected for his soul-stirring story named ‘Cecilia Wairimu: One woman, Three marriages, 11 years of Infertility’. The First Award from the Online Media Segment was given to Ms. Molatelo Mainetje, News and Current Affair Producer and Documentary Filmmaker from South Africa for her short film called ‘Womb Man’.Ms. Asha Bakidusa, Journalist with Royal Media Services Limited, Under Bahari FM, Kenya was given the First Award for the Radio Segment for her program on ‘How family men supporting their spouses in cases of Infertility’. All the award winners were present during the ceremony to collect their award.
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 the Republic of Burundi; H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central Africa Republic; H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad; H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana; H.E. DJÈNÈ CONDÈ, The First Lady of Guinea-Conakry; H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH BARROW, The First Lady of Gambia; H.E. KEÏTA AMINATA MAÏGA, The First Lady of Mali, H.E. AISSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU, The First Lady of Niger; H.E. FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone; 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 84 candidates, in clinical and practical training for fertility specialists and embryologists in more than 29 countries across Africa and Asia such as: Chad, Niger, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire , Ghana, Ethiopia , Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania , Zambia , Nigeria, Benin, Mali, Burkina Fuso, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cameron, Rwanda, Botswana, DR Congo , Congo Brazzaville, Gambia , Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Cambodia. 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
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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 innovative healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in the 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 go to www.merck-foundation.com to read more and/or register online to interact and exchange experience with our registered members.
Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science, and performance materials. Almost 53,000 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. In 2017, Merck generated sales of € 15.3 billion in 66 countries.
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 and EMD Performance Materials.