Merck Foundation Launches First ‘Health Media Training’ in Partnership With the First Lady of Namibia to Break Infertility Stigma in the Country
Windhoek, Namibia & Mumbai, Maharashtra, India:
- Merck Foundation announces the First Lady of Namibia as Ambassador of Merck more than a Mother.
- Merck Foundation Calls for Applications in Namibia for “Merck More than a Mother” Media Recognition Awards 2020 for English speaking countries to break infertility stigma.
- Merck Foundation also Calls for Applications for ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Fashion Awards from Namibia and rest of Africa.
Talking about the Health Media Training program Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than a Mother explained, “The Health Media Training program is a part of ‘Merck More than a Mother’ community awareness Program and is organized for the first time in Namibia for local media representatives and media students to emphasize their critical role to create a culture shift and to be the voice of the voiceless in order to break the stigma around infertile women.”
The First Lady of Namibia, H.E. Monica Geingos emphasized, “I am very excited to be appointed as ambassador of ‘Merck more than a Mother’ and to officially launch Merck Foundation programs in our country. Moreover, I am very happy to host this important training program. Media plays an important role is sensitizing our society. It can help in creating awareness about female & male infertility and in breaking the stigma around infertility.”
“It is important to initiate this important training program as I strongly believe that media has the capacity and ability to break the silence in our communities in a regular and effective basis.” Dr. Rasha Kelej added.
The training was addressed by Fertility specialists who are Merck Foundation Alumni and stalwarts of Media.
It provided a great opportunity for the journalists to listen to childless women experience with infertility stigma and to meet the experts and also to network with each other and work as a unit to eradicate the stigma around infertility and its resulted domestic violence in Namibia and rest of Africa.
Merck Foundation together with Namibia’s First Lady acknowledged the graduates of Merck Foundation programs in different fields of Oncology, Fertility and Embryology, Diabetes and Hypertension. and welcomed to be Merck Foundation Alumni for Namibia.
Merck Foundation in partnership with Ministry of Health of Namibia has provided training for doctors from Namibia to be the first oncologist and fertility specialists in public sector in the country. Moreover, they provided one year online diploma in cardiovascular preventive medicines and master’s program in diabetes management for two doctors. Merck Foundation has committed to continue providing these specialty training to more doctors from different provinces in Namibia.
Merck Foundation recently announced the winners of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Media Recognition Awards 2019. They also announced for Namibian Media, the Call for Application of “Merck More Than a Mother” Media Recognition Awards 2020 for English speaking countries. The aim of these awards is 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 along the year their work to raise awareness about infertility prevention and breaking infertility stigma.
About Merck More than a Mother’ Media Recognition Awards 2020
Who can apply?
Journalists from print, online, radio and multimedia platforms from Namibia and rest of English-speaking countries from Africa.
Last date of submission:
Entries can be submitted till 15th June 2020.
How to apply? Entries can be submitted via email to
Sending multiple applications will increase the chances of winning the award.
“Merck 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 and effective fertility care. 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 More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility on 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 More Than a Mother” are:
|H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana||H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia||H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia|
|H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi||
H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana
|H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADO, The First Lady of Niger|
|H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic||H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry||H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria|
|H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad||H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia||H.E FATIMA MAADA, The First Lady of Sierra Leone|
|H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville||H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi||H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia|
|H.E. SYLVIA BONGO ONDIMBA, The First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo||H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique||H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe|
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, Guinea, Ethiopia and Uganda.
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 More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;
- ‘Merck More than a Mother’ Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training
- ‘Merck More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards
- ‘Merck More than a Mother’ Film Awards
- Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
- Children storybook, localized for each country
Join the conversation on our social media platforms below and let your voice be heard
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 www.merck-foundation.com to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flicker.
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.