President of Senegal, H.E. MACKY SALL presides Merck Foundation conference “Merck Africa Asia Luminary”

(L-R): H.E. REBECCA NAA OKAIKOR AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana; H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central Africa Republic;  H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana; H.E. AISSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU, The First Lady of Niger; H.E. HINDA

President of Senegal, H.E. MACKY SALL presides Merck Foundation conference “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” to build Healthcare capacity in Africa and Asia

NAIROBI, KENYA, November 2, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany conducted the 5th Edition of “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” under the patronage of The President of The Republic of Senegal, H.E. MACKY SALL and The First Lady of Senegal, H.E. MARIEME FAYE SALL, and in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Senegal.

During his closing speech, The President of Senegal, H.E. MACKY SALL emphasized “I am very glad to be hosting this important conference in Senegal, as it will help explore many partnership opportunities and introduce new frameworks for health capacity building in collaboration with our Ministry of health and Merck Foundation and other ministries of health and healthcare societies & institutions across the world. I personally urge African Governments to prioritize investing on healthcare capacity building.”

Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board and Family Board of E-Merck KG emphasized, “Merck is a value driven company and that is one of the reasons why Merck through its foundation is committed to support the social and economic development of Africa, Asia and developing countries by building healthcare capacity and improving access to innovative and equitable healthcare in the continent.”

Merck Foundation CEO, Dr. Rasha Kelej welcomed the First Ladies as Merck Foundation Partners and Ambassadors of Merck More Than a Mother to empower infertile women and build healthcare capacity in their countries.
“We are very proud to have the support of H.E. MACKY SALL to enable us to realize our vision to change the landscape of Cancer care in Senegal and rest of Africa“, Dr. Kelej added.

The First Lady of Senegal, H.E. MARIEME FAYE SALL delivered the keynote speech at the Luminary and welcomed the partnership with Merck Foundation to build healthcare capacity, along with

H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana;
H.E. DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of the Republic of Burundi;
H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central Africa Republic;
H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad;
H.E. REBECCA NAA OKAIKOR AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana;
H.E. AISSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU, The First Lady of Niger;
H.E. FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone and
H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia

They have also announced their acceptance to be appointed as Ambassadors of Merck More Than a Mother campaign to empower infertile women and break the stigma of infertility in their countries.
During the conference, Merck Foundation also celebrated two important occasions; the 350th Anniversary of Merck and the 1st Anniversary of Merck Foundation.

A high level Ministerial panel also took place.

During the panel ministers of health discussed “Building Fertility and cancer care capacity and breaking the Infertility Stigma in Africa and Asia”. The panel discussion involved Hon. Abdoulaye Diouf SARR, Minister of Health and Social Action, of Sénégal; Hon. Sarah Opendi, Minister of State for Health of Uganda; Hon Dr Alfred Madigele - Minister of Health and Wellness, the Republic of Botswana, Hon. Dr. Idi Illiassou Maïnassara, Minister of Public Health, of the Niger; Hon. Aziz Mahamat Saleh Ahmat, Minister of Public Health, of Chad; Hon. Dr. Pierre Somse, Minister of Health and Population, Central African Republic; Hon. Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie, Minister of Health and Sanitation, of Sierra Leone; Hon. Dr. Isatou Touray, Minister for Health and Social Welfare, of The Gambia, Hon. Mariama Sylla, Minister of Social Action, Child and Women promotion, Guinee, Hon. Aboubakar Assidikh Tchoroma, Minister of National Education and Civic Promotion, Chad and Hon. Julieta Kavetuna, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, of Namibia .

More than 58 countries participated in the Luminary, the list included: Angola, Benin, Burkina Fuso, Bangladesh, Botswana, Burundi, Canada, Cameroon, Cambodia, Chad, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, DR Congo, Congo, Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Egypt, France, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Conakry, Gabon, Ghana, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia Mali, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Malaysia, Nigeria, Niger, Nepal Philippines, Rwanda, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Togo, UAE, Uganda, USA, UK, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

About Merck Oncology Fellowship Program

The Merck Oncology Fellowship Program, a key initiative of Merck Cancer Access Program, focuses on building additional capacity through medical education and training.

The lack of financial means is not the only challenge in Africa and developing countries, but a scarcity of trained health care personnel capable to tackle the prevention, early diagnosis and management of cancer at all levels of the health care systems is even a bigger challenge.

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 degree in Medical Oncology at Cairo University - Egypt, in partnership with African Ministries of Health, Local Governments and Academia.

Launched in 2016, over 43 candidates from more than 21 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, Cameroon, CAR, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.


About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign;

In many cultures, childless women suffer discrimination, stigma, and ostracism. Their inability to have children results in great isolation, disinheritance, and assaults. “Merck More Than a Mother” empowers such women through the access to information, health, change of mindsets and economic empowerment.

As part of this Campaign, we started “Empowering Berna” project in Africa to help childless and infertile women starting their own business and thus achieve financial independence and become stronger and happier. The project has benefited more than 1,000 women across the continent.

Also, part of the campaign is our Merck Embryology & Fertility Training Program, a three-month hands-on practical course to establish the platform of fertility specialists.

Diana Mbaluka
Merck Foundation
+254 736 466513
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