African First Ladies discuss Healthcare Capacity Building and Breaking Infertility Stigma at Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2023 in India
Merck Foundation and First Ladies from Africa have discussed Healthcare Capacity Building and Breaking Infertility Stigma at the Africa Asia Luminary 2023 in India.
Present at the programme were Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej and African First Ladies of Botswana, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Together, they inaugurated the 10th Edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2023.
More than 10,000 participants including healthcare providers, policy-makers,
researchers, academia and media representatives from 70 English, French,
Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries attended the Luminary through
hybrid model to benefit from five parallel scientific and social sessions to advance healthcare capacity and awareness in 42 critical and underserved
The programme also was used as a platform for celebrating 6th Anniversary of Merck Foundation and marking 11-year journey of their development programmes, during 2023 Luminary.
Merck Foundation reported the impact of providing 1700 scholarships to doctors
from 50 countries in 42 critical and underserved specialties such as; Oncology,
Diabetes, Cardiovascular Preventive, Endocrinology, Fertility, Embryology,
Reproductive Care, Respiratory Care, Acute and Intensive Care, Neonatal Care,
Pediatric Emergency, Advanced Surgery, Microbiology & Infectious Diseases,
Internal Medicine, Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, Palliative Care and Pain
Management and more.
Additionally, Merck Foundation marked Cancer Awareness Month during their annual conference.
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, conducted their annual conference, the 10th Edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary”, in partnership with Tata Memorial Centre and Department of Atomic Energy, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health of India, State Protocol Office of Government of Maharashtra and Krishna World University, Karad, on October 18, 2023 in Mumbai, India.
The conference was inaugurated by Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Merck Foundation Board of Trustees, and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary, along with African First Ladies of 11 countries.
The African First Ladies were, H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of the Republic of Botswana, H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of the Republic of Burundi, H.E. Dr. DÉBORA KATISA CARVALHO, The First Lady of the Republic of Cabo Verde, H.E. Madam BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic, H.E. Mrs. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of the Republic of The Gambia, H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, 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. MARIA DE FATIMA VILA NOVA, The First Lady of the Democratic
Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, H.E. Amai Dr. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and H.E. Madam DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, The First Lady of the Democratic Republic of The Congo.
Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of Merck
Foundation Africa Asia Luminary emphasized, “I am very proud to welcome our Guests of Honors and Keynote Speakers, the First Ladies of Africa and Ambassadors of “More Than a Mother” Campaign , for our annual conference that we have conducted first time in India. Together, we shared experiences and discussed the impact of our programs to transform patient care and raise awareness on a wide range of sensitive and critical social and health.”
She said, “ Today we are also marking together Cancer Awareness Month, it is great to remember that Merck Foundation provided 138 scholarships of Oncology Training in many sub-specialties to doctors from 37 African countries, many of them have become the first oncologists in their countries. We are making history together in Africa, with our Ambassadors, First Ladies of Africa and our partners, Tata Hospital and Krishna University.”
Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp Chairman of both of Executive Board of
E.Merck KG and Merck Foundation Board of Trustees remarked “At Merck Foundation, our goal is improving overall health and well-being by building healthcare capacity and by providing access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in Africa, Asia and beyond.”
Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp added “I would like to thank our partners, African First Ladies and Health Experts, Policy Makers, Government Officials, Academia and Media from more than 70 countries to join hands with us in order to realize the vision of Merck Foundation that Everyone can lead a Healthy and Happy life,” he added.
“I am proud to share that Merck Foundation has provided more than 1700 scholarships to young doctors from 50 countries in 42 critical and underserved specialties such as Oncology and Cancer care, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Cardiovascular, Fertility Care, Embryology, Sexual & Reproductive Medicine, Internal Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Acute Medicine, Critical Care, Pediatric Emergency, Gastroenterology, Rheumatology, Clinical Psychiatry, Urology, Ophthalmology, General Surgery, Trauma & Orthopedic, Dermatology, Neonatal Care, Pain Management, Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, Advanced
Surgical Practice, Neuroimaging for Research and more. Many of them are becoming the first specialists in their countries,” he noted.
“Many of these scholarships were conducted in India where a state of art clinical training was provided at the prestigious training institutions of our partners such as Tata Memorial Center, Manipal University, Maharashtra University, Krishna University, Indra IVF Training and more. Therefore, we are very happy to be in India this year to celebrate our 10 years partnership with our respectable Indian partners”, added Senator Kelej.
By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme