Merck Foundation CEO acknowledge Nigeria First Lady’s efforts as Ambassador to build healthcare capacity, break infertility stigma and support girl education in Nigeria

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com), the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany discussed with H.E. Dr. Mrs. AISHA MUHAMMADU BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria and Ambassador of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ their partnership programs during her visit to Merck Foundation office.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of “More Than a Mother” campaign expressed, “I am honored to receive my dear sister, H.E. Dr. Mrs. AISHA MUHAMMADU BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria and Ambassador of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’, at our office to discuss our long-term partnership and ongoing programs to build healthcare capacity, support girl education, and empower infertile women in Nigeria.

We have been working very closely with her since 2015 and together we have provided scholarships to more than 30 scholarships to young Nigerian doctors in several critical and underserved specialties including Fertility & Embryology, Diabetes, Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, Endocrinology, Sexual & Reproductive Medicine, Respiratory Medicine and Clinical Microbiology & infectious diseases”.

H.E. Dr. Mrs. AISHA MUHAMMADU BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria and Ambassador of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ said, “It is wonderful to meet our partner Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation. I am proud of our partnership with Merck Foundation to empower infertile women through access to information, education, health and change of mindset. We also work towards empowering our girls in education. I am particularly happy to celebrate the Nigerian journalists as the winners of Merck Foundation Media Awards and to launch the new editions of best song, best fashion designers and best film award with the aim to sensitize our communities and to create a platform to break the silence”.

Please click on the link to view the pictures of the meeting: https://bit.ly/3vxaJrY

Merck Foundation announced the Call for applications of their important awards for Nigerian Media, Fashion Designers, Musical artists and Filmmakers.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized, “After the huge success of previous editions, I am very happy to launch the 2022 edition of Merck Foundation awards, together with Nigeria First Lady. Through these awards we would like to encourage the media, fashion, film making and music fraternity to raise awareness on the important topics of breaking the stigma around infertility, underscoring the importance of girls’ education and women empowerment at all levels, Stopping GBV and Ending Child marriage”.

The awards winners of Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021 are:

Online Category

Bukola Afeni, Newsday Online, Third Position
Print Media Category

Ojoma Akor, Daily Trust Newspaper Media Limited, First Position

The awards winners of Merck Foundation “Mask Up with Care” Africa Media Recognition Awards 2021 are:

Online Category

Abiodun Azi, News Agency of Nigeria, Second Position
The awards winners of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” Africa Media Recognition Awards 2020 are:

Online Category

Martins Ifijeh, ThisDay Newspapers, First Position
Chinedu Asadu, Cable Newspaper Limited, Second Position
Print Media Category

Chioma Obinna, Vanguard Media Limited, First Position

RADIO CATEGORY

Abubakar Sulaiman, Sawaba FM 104.9 Hadejia, First Position
The awards winners of “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards 2020 awards are:

Online Category

Ishioma Emi Mary – Ventures Africa, First Position
Ebere Agozie – GFH News, First Position
Odimegwu Onwumere – The Nigerian Voice, Second Position
Print Media Category

Ojoma Akor – Daily Trust, First Position

Multimedia Category

Aneta Felix – TV360 Nigeria, First Position
RADIO CATEGORY

Ekene Odigwe – Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (Coalcity FM), First Position
Details of the Awards:

1. Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022:

Media representatives are invited to showcase their work to raise awareness about any of the following social issues such as: Breaking Infertility Stigma, Support Girls’ Education, End Child Marriage, End FGM, Stopping GBV and Women Empowerment at all levels.

Submission deadline: 30th July 2022. Click here (https://bit.ly/3HwCjrM) to view more details.

2. Merck Foundation Film Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022 All African Filmmakers, Students of Film Making Training Institutions or Young Talents of Africa are invited to create and share a long or short FILMS, either drama, documentary or docudrama to deliver strong and influential messages to address any of the following social issues such as: Breaking Infertility Stigma, Support Girls’ Education, End Child Marriage, End FGM, Stopping GBV and Women Empowerment at all levels.

Submission deadline: 30th July 2022. Click here (https://bit.ly/3MbSDSg)  to view more details.

3. Merck Foundation Fashion Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022: All African Fashion Students and Designers are invited to create and share designs to deliver strong and influential messages to raise awareness about any of the following social issues such as: Breaking Infertility Stigma, Support Girls’ Education, End Child Marriage, End FGM, Stopping GBV and Women Empowerment at all levels.

Submission deadline: 30th July 2022. Click here (https://bit.ly/3te8044) to view more details.

4. Merck Foundation Song Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022: All African Singers and Musical Artists are invited to create and share a SONG with the aim to address any of the following social issues such as: Breaking Infertility Stigma, Support Girls’ Education, End Child Marriage, End FGM, Stopping GBV and Women Empowerment at all levels.

Submission deadline: 30th July 2022. Click here (https://bit.ly/358Xgfz) to view more details.

Moreover, Merck Foundation in partnership with The First Lady of Nigeria has also launched three children storybooks titled: “David’s story” (https://bit.ly/3IwFKQz)  to emphasize on the strong family values of love and respect from a young age which will reflect on eliminating the stigma of infertility and resulted domestic violence in the future, “Educating Atikat” (https://bit.ly/3po6kE4)  to emphasize on the importance of empowering girls through education and “Make the Right Choice Story” (https://bit.ly/3hnPtg7) to raise awareness about coronavirus prevention amongst children and youth as it provides facts about the pandemic and how to stay safe and healthy during the outbreak. 
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.Media Contact: 
Mehak Handa 
Community Awareness Program Manager 
+9310087613/ +91 9319606669  mehak.handa@exteral.merckgroup.com 

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About ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ campaign:
“Merck Foundation 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, effective and equitable fertility care solutions. 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 Foundation More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility at 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 Foundation More Than a Mother” are:

H.E. NEO JANE MASISI,
The First Lady of Botswana

H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo

H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique

H.E. SIKA KABORE, The First Lady of Burkina Faso

H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia

H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia

H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE,

The First Lady of Burundi

H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana

H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria

H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic

H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia

H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone

H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville

H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi

H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe

The Former First Lady of Burundi, H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The Former First Lady of Chad, H.E. HINDA DÉBY ITNO, The Former First Lady of Malawi, H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The Former First Lady of Niger, H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU and The Former First Lady of Zambia, H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The Former First Lady of Guinea Conakry, H.E. CONDÉ DJENE have worked successfully with Merck Foundation as Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Ambassadors to break the stigma of infertility and empower infertile women in their countries.

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 Foundation More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;

‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Africa Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training
‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards
‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Film Awards
‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Song Awards
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/32YFKpv), Twitter (bit.ly/2TeOQNj), Instagram(bit.ly/3g6OYr3) , YouTube (bit.ly/3zc3up1) and Flicker (bit.ly/2Tay0Pu).

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