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Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation during the MARS 2022 Awards Ceremony with the Winners
Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation during the MARS 2022 Awards Ceremony with the Winners

Merck Foundation, African Union, 11 African Ministers conducted Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit - MARS 2022 Awards Ceremony

ANI | Updated: Feb 04, 2023 12:51 IST

Cape Town [South Africa]/ Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 4 (ANI/BusinessWire India): Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, conducted the Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit - MARS 2022 Awards Ceremony, in partnership with the African Union (Scientific Technical Research Commission), through VideoConference to felicitate the 7 winners from 7 African countries, for their valuable research work and contribution to empowering women and youth in STEM with special focus on Scientific Research in Infectious Diseases and Cancer Research.
Senator Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit -MARS expressed, "Like every year since 2016, I am extremely proud of all 7 winners who have been recognized under the two categories of 'Best African Women Researchers Awards' and 'Best Young African Researcher Awards' for their valuable contribution in research, especially by African Female Researchers who are under presented in this field, as we all know. Through Merck Foundation African Research Summit - MARS Awards, we aim to empower African young researchers and of course to empower and encourage African women researchers through advancing their research capacity and promote their contribution to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
The winners of 'Best African Women Researchers Awards' and 'Best Young African Researcher Awards' will be enrolled into research training at a premier research institute in India."
The award ceremony was also attended by Dr Ahmed Hamdy, Executive Director, African Union - Scientific, Technical and Research Commission; Prof. Andrew Kambugu, The Sande-McKinnell Executive Director at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Uganda; Dr Edgar Mocanu, President of the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS), Past Chairperson of The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and Reproductive Medicine, Endocrinology, and Infertility (REI) Committee, Ireland; Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, OFR, President of African Reproductive Care Society (ARCS), President of The Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria & Secretary General of International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS), Nigeria and Prof Dr Satish Kumar Adiga, Head, Department of Reproductive Science and Coordinator at Fertility Preservation Centre, Kasturba Medical College, India.
Dr Ahmed Hamdy, Executive Director, African Union - Scientific, Technical and Research Commission, emphasized, "I congratulate all the worthy winners of MARS Awards 2022. This is a very valuable platform for African women and young African researchers who are engaged and interested in health research."
The African Ministers who attended the MARS 2022 Ceremony are:
1. Dr Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health, The Gambia
2. Imelde SABUSHIMIKE, Minister of National Solidarity, Social Affairs, Human Rights and Gender, Burundi
3. Mme ALLAHOURY AMINATA ZOURKALEINI, Minister for the Promotion of Women, Niger
4. Prof IBRAHIM NATATOU, Minister of National Education, Niger
5. HASSANE BARAZE MOUSSA, Minister of Post and New Technologies, Niger
6. Mahamadou Laoualy Dan Dano, Minister of Communication, Niger
7. Dr Constatino G. D. N. Chiwenga, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Zimbabwe
8. Prof Amon Murwira, Minister of Higher Education, Zimbabwe
9. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, Minister of Health, Malawi
10. Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Malawi
11. Minister of Education, Malawi

Dr Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health, The Gambia expressed, "I appreciate the efforts of Merck Foundation and feel that MARS Awards are innovational in bringing together young scientist to bring out their potentials in the field of science."
Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit - MARS 2022 had scientific support from the African Union Scientific, Technical and Research Commission (AU-STRC), Infectious Diseases Institute, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Graduate School.
The MARS 2022 Award Winners are:
Winners of "MARS Best African Women Researchers Awards"
- Gladys Kaba, Ghana
TOPIC: Diversity of Cervicovaginal Human Papillomavirus Genotypes and Naturally Occurring E6/E7 DNA Sequence Polymorphism: A Study Among Selected Women with Clinical Suspicion of Cancer of the Cervix or Diagnosed Cervix Cancer/Precancer Cases in Ghana
- Amaya Jobin Habila, Nigeria
TOPIC: Evaluation Of The Immunoprotective Potential Of Trypanosoma Brucei Glycerol Kinase In Mice
- Shingirai Chiwambutsa, South Africa
TOPIC: Effect of genetic polymorphism and co-medications on tamoxifen metabolising enzymes and plasma levels of endoxifen in black South African breast cancer patients
- Ededia Firdawoke, Ethiopia
TOPIC: HPV in women with invasive cervical cancer lesion and cancer: the use
of urine as an adjunct specimen
Winners of "MARS Best Young African Researchers Awards"
- Abu Bakarr Kamara, Sierra Leone
TOPIC: Safety and immunogenicity of an Ad26.ZEBOV booster dose among children previously vaccinated with the two-dose heterologous Ad26.ZEBOV and MVA-BN-Filo Ebola vaccine regimen

- Fongang Che Landis, Cameroon
TOPIC: Effectiveness of Mhealth (Text Messages) in Enhancing Cervical Cancer Screening uptake among Women in the North-West Region of Cameroon
- Eze Ajaegbu, Nigeria
TOPIC: Anticancer agents from Millettia aboensis root
- Fongang Che Landis, Winner of 'Best Young African Researcher Awards' category from Cameroon stated, "I feel it is a high ranking, prestigious award that enhances research in Africa and creates opportunities for African researchers as it will go further to enhance my visibility, knowledge level, network and professional growth in all spheres of life."
Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej shared, "I am also excited to announce the Call for Applications for our prestigious Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit (MARS) Awards 2023. 'The Role of Scientific Research in Women Health and Infertility & Reproductive Health' will be the key focus this year. Eventually, through these awards, Merck Foundation aims to empower Women Researchers and young African researchers to strengthen the important role research plays towards contributing to public health thus improving healthcare capacity with special focus on women health, infertility and reproductive health in Africa."
MARS 2023 of Merck Foundation will be in partnership with African Reproductive Care Society (ARCS), International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS), Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and African Union Scientific Technical Research Commission.
MARS aims to contribute to building research capacity in the African research community.
Details for MARS AWARDS 2023
Abstracts are invited from final year PhD students, young investigators involved in research and Medical Doctors in Postgraduate Medical Fellowship program related to either of the following topics:
1) Women Health
2) Infertility and Reproductive Health
Applicants should be primarily based at African Research Institutes and Universities, although collaboration within Africa, as well as outside, is also welcome.
Last Date of Submission:
Applications can be submitted till 30th June 2023
How to apply:
Apply online here: https://merck-foundation.com/Merck-Foundation-Africa-Research-Summit-Application-Form
Alternatively, Applications and abstracts can be submitted via email to mars@merck-foundation.com along with CV (including Name, Gender, Country, University/Hospital Name, Email address, Mobile Number) and the abstract document as an attachment.
Entries are invited under the below categories:
- Best African Women Researchers
- Best Young African Researcher
Other Details:
- All Abstracts will be peer-reviewed.
- The Winners receive a 3 months Research Training scholarship in India
- One Best Abstract winner from each category will get an opportunity to present their at the IFFS Worlf Fertility Congress in Athens.
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