Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KgaA conducted their 8th Edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary” from 27th – 29th April 2021, through an online videoconference. The conference was inaugurated by the President of the Republic of Zambia, H.E. Dr. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU and Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp Chairman of both of Executive Board of E.Merck KG and Merck Foundation Board of Trustees; and co-chaired by H.E. Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.
Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, Merck Foundation CEO & Co-chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary emphasized, “We have always believed in the importance of building healthcare capacity through providing training to healthcare providers in many medical specialties. Also, as a response to COVID 19 pandemic, we adopted the online medical education strategy to be able to continue with our efforts of healthcare capacity building. I am very proud that we have so far provided for more than 1100 Doctors from 42 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America with one & two-, three-year specialty training in multiple fields such as Oncology, Diabetes, Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, Endocrinology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Acute Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Human Assisted Reproduction and Embryology & Fertility specialty, to be the first in their countries. Moreover, we have now widened our horizons by introducing more scholarships for young doctors in many new underserved specialties across Africa and Asia.”
H.E. Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia and Co-chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2021 emphasized, “We are proud of our partnership with Merck Foundation, which started in 2019. In a very short period, we have been able to reshape the healthcare landscape of Zambia by enrolling and providing training to more than 90 young doctors with specialty training in the fields of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory, Acute medicines, Sexual and Reproductive Medicines, Fertility and Embryology. All of these fields are very critical and were lacking in our country. This will contribute to our battle against coronavirus and other diseases.”
During his inauguration speech, The President of Zambia, H.E Dr. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU emphasized “I am very glad to be hosting this important conference together with Merck Foundation, our long-term strategic partner. It is a great honor to inaugurate the conference alongside the First Ladies of Africa. I am certain that this conference will help us to further explore partnership opportunities and introduce new frameworks for cooperation in the area of health care capacity building and to define interventions to break infertility stigma and support girl education.”
Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of both of Executive Board of E.Merck KG and Merck Foundation Board of Trustees expressed “Together, we continue to work in order to realize Merck Foundation’s vision: ‘Everyone in the world should lead a happy and fulfilling life’. We have achieved together, a huge success and we are going to continue and extend our support to achieve more.”
The 8th Edition of the Luminary marked another important milestone: the 4th Anniversary of Merck Foundation.
As part of the Luminary, Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative Committee (MFFLI) High-Level Panel was conducted, which was attended by the 13 African First Ladies, who are the Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.
The keynote address was delivered by H.E. Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia as the host and co-chairperson of the conference along with
- H.E. Mrs. ANA DIAS LOURENÇO, The First Lady of the Republic of Angola
- H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of the Republic of Botswana
- H.E. Madam SIKA KABORE, The First Lady of Burkina Faso
- H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of the Republic of Burundi
- H.E. Madam BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic
- H.E. Madam DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, The First Lady of the Democratic Republic of The Congo
- H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana
- H.E. Madam DJÈNÈ CONDÉ, The First Lady of the Republic of Guinea Conakry
- H.E. Mrs. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of the Republic of Liberia
- H.E. Mrs. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of the Republic of Malawi
- H.E. Mrs. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of the Republic of Mozambique
- H.E. Mrs. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of the Republic of Namibia
The Day 1 of the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary was attended by close to 100,000 participants, Healthcare providers, policymakers, academia, researchers, and media from more than 70 Countries in four languages English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
On Day 2 of the conference, MARS- Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit was held where a High-Level Panel Discussion with Ministers of Health, Science and Technology, Education, Information And Gender and MARS Researchers was held with the objective to empower African young researchers & women researchers, advancing their research capacity and empower them in STEM.
On the third day, Merck Foundation Health Media Training was organized for the African and Latin American Media fraternity to emphasize the important role that media plays to break the stigma around infertility, in raising awareness about infertility prevention, and empowering girls and women through education.
Other important scientific sessions in different medical fields were also held in parallel on Day 2 and Day 3 of the Luminary.
Countries participating include Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central Africa Republic, Cambodia, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guinea – Bissau, Guinea – Conakry, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, U.A.E, UK, Uganda, US, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe and more.
Link to the Facebook live steam of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary Inauguration & Africa’s First Ladies High Level Panel – MFFLI 2021:
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