Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany organized their first “Merck Foundation Health Media Training” recently in N'Djamena, Chad in partnership with H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother together with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Communication and Ministry of Public Health to break the stigma around infertility, raise awareness about prevention and male infertility and empower infertile women in Chad and rest of Africa.
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized “Today we underscore our long-term commitment to build healthcare capacity in Chad. Merck Foundation has already provided and will continue to provide specialty training to Chad doctors in the fields of Oncology, Fertility and Diabetes Care. Moreover, we conducted the first health media training in Chad to educate media on how to break the stigma of infertility and raise awareness about male infertility and infertility prevention through their day to day work”.
The training program is a part of ‘Merck More than a Mother’ community awareness Program and was organized for the first time in Chad for local media representatives and media students.
H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “We are happy to conduct this important training in partnership with Merck Foundation in our country. Media can take the messages to the community and bring a change in the current scenario where women solely blamed for infertility. I urge our media partners to work together for this cause to make a difference.”
“I am delighted to initiate this important training as I strongly believe that media is a critical partner that plays a significant role to influence our society to create a cultural shift. It has the capacity and ability to empower infertile women and couples in our communities” Rasha Kelej added.
The training was addressed by the stalwarts of media industry, including international faculty and infertility experts.
Moreover, it provided a great opportunity for the journalists to meet the experts and also to network with each other and work as a unit to eradicate the stigma around infertility in Chad and the rest of Africa. It was attended by journalists working for Print, TV, Radio and Online media and journalism students.
“The Merck Health Media Training program focused on the international standards and media ethics for reporting sensitive issues like infertility in Africa. It was designed to benefit the journalists in understanding the infertility issues in African communities and to learn the best media practices to cover such issues” added Dr. Rasha Kelej.