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Merck foundation brings together 15 African first ladies to break the stigma of infertility


Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Germany conducted First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI) - Summit in on 30th -31st March and 1st of April 2019. The MFFLI Summit 2019 was attended by 15 Ladies.

"Merck through its foundation is committed to supporting the social and economic development of Africa, and developing countries by building Our aim is to improve access to quality & across the African continent", said Prof Dr Frank Stangenberg Haverkamp, of the Executive Board of and the of Board of Trustees.

"I am very proud to with the ladies to become 'Merck More Than a Mother' and with them to build healthcare capacity, break the stigma of and empower women and girls in education with special focus on STEM. During our strategy meeting, we shared experiences, discussed challenges and defined solutions to ensure continuous improvement and exchange variable aspects of different cultures in order to localize specific messages that can raise awareness and create a culture shift to empower women and girls across Africa", said Dr Rasha Kelej, of and Merck More Than a Mother.

The Summit was attended by:

H.E. Neo Jane Masisi, of Botswana;

H.E Denise Nkurunziza, of Burundi;

H.E. Brigitte Touadera, of Central African Republic;

H.E. Antoinette Sassou-Nguesso, First Lady of Congo;

H.E. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, First Lady of Ghana;

H.E. Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow, First Lady of The Gambia;

H.E. Conde Djene, First Lady of Conakry;

H.E. Clar Weah, First Lady of Republic of Liberia;

H.E. Gertrude Mutharika, First Lady of Malawi;

H.E. Mariam Mint Ahmad Tekber, First lady of the Mauritania;

H.E. Dr Isaura Ferrao Nyusi, First Lady of Mozambique;

H.E. Madam Monica Geingos, First Lady of Namibia;

H.E Aissata Issoufou Mahamado, First Lady of Niger;

H.E Fatima Maada, First Lady of Sierra Leone;

H.E. Auxillia Mnangagw, First Lady of Zimbabwe

A special training program was organized for the First Ladies' technical teams to enable them to achieve the agreed objectives and follow up on Merck Foundation's programs of building capacity in different sectors.

"Thanks to Merck Foundation for inviting me. We recently launched their programs in my country, and they are proving to be very substantial. They will be proving clinical training on fertility and oncology to our doctors. We also provided together with the media training to the journalists to understand the issues and to break the stigma attached to infertility", said H.E Denise Nkurunziza, the First Lady of

"I am very proud to work closely to and empower infertile women in my country", said H.E. Brigitte Touadera, the First Lady of

"I am happy to know that Merck Foundation will help train our doctors and media to raise awareness about issues and improve patient care in my country. This will prove to be very beneficial for our citizens", explained H.E. Antoinette Sassou-Nguesso, the First Lady of

"Through Rebecca Foundation, we have been working closely with Merck Foundation to empower women and youth. Also, we have also launched together unique initiatives like media recognition, film and fashion awards in our country to break the stigma around I am sure that our partnership will go a long way towards benefitting the people of my country", said H.E. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, The First Lady of

"Merck Foundation has provided training to first fertility specialists and first oncologists in The We are making history together. We will continue this program in partnership with my foundation and to improve access to cost-effective and quality fertility and care in the country", remarked H.E. Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow, the

"I am proud of our association with Merck Foundation. They supported the establishment of in our country by providing expert. They also trained the first fertility specialists and specialized oncologists in This is a great milestone. Together we will change the landscape of Fertility and care in the country", said H.E. Conde Djene, the First Lady of

"I am happy to with Merck Foundation. They will provide specialized training to our doctors in the field of Fertility, Oncology and Management. They will also train media to break the infertility stigma and will launch initiatives to empower women and girls in education. We hope that our partnership will continue to benefit the people of our country", remarked H.E. Clar Weah, the

"I am very proud and happy to be a part of MFFLI Summit and look forward to a long term partnership with Merck Foundation. We will closely work together on all their initiatives to build and train our media to sensitize our communities on sensitive issues like infertility stigma", said H.E. Gertrude Mutharika, the First Lady of

"I am excited to be a part of MFFLI Summit. I welcome all the initiatives of Merck Foundation in my country", added H.E. Dr Isaura Ferrao Nyusi, the First Lady of

"I am of "Merck More Than a Mother" in my country to help raise awareness about infertility prevention, management, and to break the stigma around infertile women to empower them, as they are not just child bearers. Merck Foundation has provided clinical training to our doctors in the field of Fertility, Oncology and I would like to thank them for this and hope they continue to support us", emphasized H.E Aissata Issoufou Mahamado, the First Lady of

"I am very excited to be of Merck More Than a Mother and welcome Merck foundation to our country. We hope that we will soon launch their programs in together so that the people of can also benefit like other African Countries", said H.E. Auxillia Mnangagw, the First Lady of

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First Published: Wed, April 17 2019. 19:31 IST