Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany launched their programs and conducted their first “Merck Foundation Health Media Training” in Windhoek, Namibia in partnership with H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia and the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother together with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education to break the stigma around infertility and build healthcare capacity in 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.