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Merck Foundation partners with First Lady of Zimbabwe to build healthcare capacity


Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany organized their first 'Merck Foundation Health Media Training' on 16th September 2019 in Harare, Zimbabwe in partnership with Auxillia Mnangagwa, the First Lady of Zimbabwe and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother together with Ministries of Health and Information to break the stigma around infertility in Zimbabwe and rest of Africa.

"It is an honor to appoint the First lady of Zimbabwe, Auxillia Mnangagwa, the Ambassador of Merck more than a Mother. After our committee meeting in March 2019 at Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI) Summit, our programs have started in partnership with Zimbabwe government and we have already enrolled many doctors to our specialty training programs for Two Year Oncology Master and Fellowship, One Year Online Diabetes Diploma and Fertility Specialist Training. Moreover, we are conducting today, the first health media training in Zimbabwe to educate media how to break the stigma of infertility through their valuable work", emphasized Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck more than a Mother.

The training program is a part of 'Merck More than a Mother' community awareness Program and was organized for the first time in Zimbabwe for local media representatives and media students.

"We welcome this important initiative of the Merck Foundation in our country. Media, if guided properly can bring about a huge change in the current scenario where women solely blamed for infertility. I urge or media partners to work together for this cause to make a difference", emphasized Auxillia Mnangagwa, the First Lady of Zimbabwe and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother.

"I am delighted to initiate this important training 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", added Rasha Kelej.

The training was addressed by the First Lady of Zimbabwe, stalwarts of the 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 Zimbabwe and the 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 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.

Merck Foundation also announced the call for application for 'Merck More than a Mother', 'Media Recognition Awards' for Zimbabwe 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 Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa.

Who can apply? Journalists from Print, Online, Radio and Multimedia platforms from Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa.

Last date of submission: Entries can be submitted till 31st December 2019.

How to apply? Entries can be submitted via email.

Categories and prize money for winners:

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, September 17 2019. 11:18 IST