Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany organized their first “Merck Foundation Health Media Training” on 30th January 2020 in N’Djamena, Chad in partnership with H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother together with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Communication and Ministry of Public Health to break the stigma around infertility, raise awareness about prevention and male infertility and empower infertile women in Chad and rest of Africa.
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized “Today we underscore our long-term commitment to build healthcare capacity in Chad. Merck Foundation has already provided and will continue to provide specialty training to Chad doctors in the fields of Oncology, Fertility and Diabetes Care. Moreover, we conducted the first health media training in Chad to educate media how to break the stigma of infertility and raise awareness about male infertility and infertility prevention through their day to day work”.
The training program is a part of ‘Merck More than a Mother’ community awareness Program and was organized for the first time in Chad for local media representatives and media students.
H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “We are happy to conduct this important training in partnership with Merck Foundation in our country. Media can take the messages to the community and bring a change in the current scenario where women solely blamed for infertility. I urge our media partners to work together for this cause to make a difference.”
“I am delighted to initiate this important training as I strongly believe that media is a critical partner that plays a significant role to influence our society to create a cultural shift. It has the capacity and ability to empower infertile women and couples in our communities” Rasha Kelej added.
The training was addressed by the stalwarts of media industry, including international faculty and infertility experts.
Moreover, it provided 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 Chad and rest of Africa. It was attended by journalists working for Print, TV, Radio and Online media and journalism students.
“The Merck Health Media Training program focused on the international standards and media ethics for reporting sensitive issues like infertility in Africa. It was designed to benefit the journalists in understanding the infertility issues in African communities and to learn the best media practices to cover such issues” added Dr. Rasha Kelej.
Who can apply?
Journalists from print, online, radio and multimedia platforms from Chad and rest of Africa.
Last date of submission: Entries can be submitted till 15th June 2020.
How to apply?
Entries can be submitted via email to
Categories and prize money for winners:
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, 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 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).
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.
Merck Foundation also announced Call for Application for “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ for Chad 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 Chad and rest of Africa.
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