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Merck Foundation in partnership Ghana First Lady support casual and daily workers affected by Coronavirus lockdown

Merck Foundation (, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany together with H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana and her Foundation presented boxes of relief items to more than 1000 persons living with disabilities, people living with HIV/ AIDS and casual and daily workers with special focus on women who are most affected by the Coronavirus (COVID -19) lockdown, to curb its spread in Ghana.

The boxes which contain rice, cooking oil, milo, sugar, milk, canned tomatoes canned fish and other items, were distributed to them under physical distancing protocols.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation explained, “Lockdown to fight coronavirus is going to hit most casual and daily workers very hard. Therefore, in addition to raising awareness about Coronavirus through our “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards, Merck Foundation decided to support African governments strategy to save the people's living and livelihood with the aim to integrate it into the COVID-19 combat strategy. After Our partnership with First Lady of Ghana, we are going to scale up this initiative to further support 600 to 1000 poor families in each of the following countries in partnership with their First Ladies; DRC Congo, Niger, Burkina Fuso, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Liberia and Sierra Leone with the aim to save the livelihood of thousands of families with special focus on women in Africa in the times of Coronavirus as part of “Separated but Connected” Merck Foundation Initiative”.

H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana and Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother emphasized, “We thank Merck Foundation, our partner for their support. We are committed to supporting those most affected by the current lockdowns in the epicenters of Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi, and we encourage others to partner with us to make life much bearable for our vulnerable, especially women and children.”

Dr. Rasha Kelej further emphasized that, “Ghana and the rest of the world are going through exceptional circumstances, and the various institutions and bodies involved in it must support those who are unable to endure the conditions of their business’ closure so that they can support their families, and that positive participation contributes to the continuation of this large group by adhering to health instructions and quarantine in their homes because in case they are unable to do so, they will have to go out to search for other work, which exposes them and exposes everyone to the risks of transmission of this infection with the coronavirus”.

Dr. Rasha Kelej explained, “I’d like to shed a light on a very important issue; The pandemic has led to a horrifying increase in violence against women. Women and girls are under higher risk of domestic violence due to increased tensions in the household. Moreover, school closures translate into a heightened burden of informal care within families, affecting women negatively more than men. Many of these women are currently trapped with their abusers, struggling to access any support service, they are lonely and suffering in silence. Therefore, Merck Foundation in partnership with African First Ladies supports casual workers with special focus on women as part of our signature campaign Merck More than a Mother”.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.

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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 to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation (; Facebook (, Twitter (, Instagram (, YouTube ( and Flicker (

About Merck: Merck ( is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 52,000 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.

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.