Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with the First Lady of Angola, Ana Dias Lourenco during her visit to Angola
Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with the First Lady of Angola, Ana Dias Lourenco during her visit to Angola

Merck Foundation meets First Lady of Angola to discuss their programs

ANI | Updated: Feb 19, 2020 12:59 IST

Luanda [Angola]/Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] Feb 19 (ANI/BusinessWire India): 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, Ana Dias Lourenco.
"It gave me great honour to meet the First Lady of Angola, Ana Dias Lourenco last week to discuss with them the long-term partnership to empower women and girls in education. I was very inspired by the passion the First Lady has to motivate and empower girls to complete their education and reach their potential. I am looking forward to working closely with her to tailor our program 'Educating Linda' for Angola", explained Dr RashaKelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.
"It is a great initiative by Merck Foundation to empower women by improving their access to information, knowledge and capacity building. We welcome the initiatives for Merck Foundation to our country", shared Ana Dias Lourenco, the First Lady of Angola.
"Moreover, I had a fruitful discussion with the Minister of Health of Angola, 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", added Ana Dias Lourenco.
"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 Dr Silvia Lutucuta.
D. RashaKelej 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 Postgraduates 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 online diabetes management master program in the 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 RashaKelej.

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 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, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe.
'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.
"Merck More Than a Mother" has 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:

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 Campaign, 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

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Website: www.merck-foundation.com
This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

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