AKUFO-ADDO inaugurates Merck Foundation “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” to build Healthcare capacity in Africa and Asia

Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board and Family Board of E-Merck KG inaugurated Merck Africa Asia Luminary in Ghana; The 6th Edition of “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” co-chaired by H.E. MADAM REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation (http://www.Merck-Foundation.com); African First Ladies of Burundi, CAR, Chad, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe were the Guest of Honor for the Luminary; More than 1000 healthcare providers, policy makers and academia from 50 countries benefited from the Luminary; 2nd anniversary of Merck Foundation was also marked during the Luminary.

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany conducted the 6th Edition of “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” in ACCRA, GHANA on 29th & 30th of October 2019. It was co-chaired by H.E. MADAM REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.

During his keynote speech while inaugurating the conference, The President of Ghana, H.E. NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO emphasized, “I am delighted to host this prestigious conference in Ghana. This conference will help find solutions to address the problem of lack of healthcare capacity in African countries and ending stigma attached to infertility.”

Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board and Family Board of E-Merck KG emphasized“Merck Foundation is committed to support the social and economic development of Africa, Asia and developing countries by building healthcare capacity and improving access to innovative and equitable healthcare in the continent.”

During her welcome speech, H.E. MADAM REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother said, “I am delighted to host this prestigious conference in Ghana. I am very proud of our partnership with Merck Foundation through which we have been able to achieve many outcomes in the country for the social and economic welfare of our people. through my ambassadorship of Merck More than a Mother, we have been able to launch many initiatives to sensitize our communities about the sensitive issue of infertility and the stigma attached to it”.

Merck Foundation CEO, Dr. Rasha Kelej welcomed the First Ladies and Ministers of Health, Gender, Information, Education and Science from more than 20 African Countries.

“Together with First Ladies of Africa and Ministers of different sectors, we worked on a strong strategy to build healthcare capacity and provide the necessary training to establish a strong platform of experts in Diabetes, Hypertension, Cancer and Fertility care in their countries and define interventions to break infertility stigma. During the Luminary, the Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative Committee (MFFLI) was also conducted to discuss different topics of discussion, follow up, monitoring and decisions.” Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized.

The key note address was delivered by H.E. MADAM REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana along with

H.E. DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of the Republic of Burundi;

H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central Africa Republic;

H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad;

H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia;

H.E. GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi;

H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria;

H.E. FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone;

H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia and

H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe

During the Inauguration Session on the 29th of October, two High–Level Ministerial Panel where conducted where the Ministers of Health, Information, Gender, Education & Science shared solutions and activities to help in Building Quality and Equitable Healthcare Capacity in Africa. Also, there was a discussion about Innovative initiatives to Sensitize Communities about Health and Sensitive Issues like infertility.

During Merck Africa Asia Luminary, more than 1000 Healthcare providers, policy makers, academia, researchers and health media from Sub- Saharan Africa, more than 50 English, French and Portuguese speaking countries benefitted from valuable educational and social development sessions by top International experts in Diabetes, Fertility, Oncology, Women health and Cardiology with the aim to raise health awareness and improve disease management, early detection and prevention, build healthcare capacity and improve access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions across the continent.

During the conference, Merck Foundation also marked an important occasion; the 2nd Anniversary of Merck Foundation.

Winners of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Media Recognition, Fashion and Film Awards of Ghana were also announced during the Award ceremony on 29th of October night.

Moreover, a beautiful and empowering song composed by local Ghanaian singers was released with the aim to empower women in general and infertile women in particular.

Countries participating include: Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, CAR, Chad, DR Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Niger-Nigeria, Nigeria, Philippines, Republic of Congo, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, UAE, USA, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.


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