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Merck Foundation awarded the First Lady of Central African Republic to acknowledge her efforts as “Merck More Than a Mother” Ambassador

Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany met The First Lady of Central African Republic – C.AR., H.E. MADAM BRIGITTE TOUADERA to underscore their commitment to build healthcare capacity in the country. The discussion was led by Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg HaverkampChairman of the Executive Board of E. Merck KG and the Chairman of Merck Foundation Board of Trustees and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation & President, Merck More Than a Mother. Merck foundation also awarded Her Excellency to acknowledge her efforts as “Merck More Than a Mother” Ambassador in the country. During the committee meeting, many new programs were finalized and launched in partnership with the Ministry of Health of C.A.R.  

H.E. MADAM BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic & Merck more than a Mother Ambassador emphasized “We are very thankful to Merck Foundation for launching their programs in our country. These programs will prove very significant in creating an impact on our people’s advancement, as health is very critical to our social and economic development. very I will continue to support and cooperate with Merck Foundation.”

“Our aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of people of the continent. Through Merck Foundation, we commit to the long term partnership with Ministry of Health and The first Lady foundation to build healthcare capacity in the country” Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp explained.

“We are very happy to award our friend, Her excellency First Lady of Central African Republic, Madam Brigitte Touadera for her great efforts to empower infertile women as the ambassador of Merck More than a Mother. We have also underscored our long term partnership with her Foundation and Ministry of Health of C.A.R., led by Hon. Pierre SOMSE. Minister of Health to continue building healthcare capacity and train doctors in the fields of Diabetes, Hypertension, Fertility and cancer care. 

Our vision is to have a strong platform of health experts in Central African Republic in non-communicable diseases, within the next five years. We strongly believe this is the right strategy to improve the social and economic standards in Central African Republic and the rest of Africa”, emphasized Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation & President Merck More than A Mother, together with H.E. MADAM BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic & Merck more than a Mother Ambassador also conducted a special meeting with more than 100 infertile women who have been enrolled in the “Empowering Berna” project to establish small businesses and train them to be able to generate steady monthly income. They both pledged to support more childless women through Merck more than a Mother campaign. In partnership with the First Lady and ministry of health, Merck foundation will provide clinical training on fertility specialty to improve access to quality and equitable fertility care in the country.

Merck Foundation also approved a list of candidates to be enrolled in their one and two year oncology fellowship program as a contribution to improve cancer care in the country. Moreover, they will also provide on-line diabetes diplomas in French for Doctors from C.A.R as well as cardiovascular preventive medicines fellowship in Asia.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.

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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 across Africa and Asia.

Merck Foundation provided for more than 84 candidates, three months to six months clinical and practical training for fertility specialists and embryologists in more than 29 countries across Africa and Asia such as: Chad, Niger, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire , Ghana, Ethiopia , Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania , Zambia , Nigeria, Benin, Mali, Burkina Fuso, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cameron, Rwanda, Botswana,  DR Congo , Congo Brazzaville, Gambia , Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Cambodia. 

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, and Guinea.  

Merck Foundation plan supported the establishment of the first public IVF centers in Ethiopia and Uganda through providing the clinical and practical training necessary for their staff. Merck Foundation also plans to support the establishment of the first public IVF in Tanzania soon.

“Merck more than a Mother” launched in 2015, is a program of the Merck Foundation, the foundation drives many of our initiatives and programs in the area of build health care and research capacity and improves access to equitable healthcare solutions.

About Merck Foundation:

The Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), 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 innovative 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 go to www.Merck-Foundation.com  to read more and/or register online to interact and exchange experience with our registered members.

About Merck:

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


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