The Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of leading pharmaceutical company, Merck KGaA Germany, is preparing to launch a series of socio-economic development programs in Guinea.
The Foundation recently met The First Lady of Guinea to plan the launch. The meeting was held between The First Lady of Guinea, Madam Djene Conde and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.
“Guinea is all set to welcome the programs of Merck Foundation,” said the First Lady, who is also one of the Ambassadors for the famous ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign.
The campaign is an initiative that supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe and effective fertility care.
“These programs are going to be very beneficial for our people and their social and economic well-being. Merck Foundation will help us build healthcare capacity and break the stigma of infertility in the country,” she said.
Merck Foundation had appointed The First Lady of Guinea as the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother in 2017.
“I am happy to work closely with Her Excellency First Lady of Guinea. We acknowledge her great efforts as “Merck More Than a Mother” Ambassador to empower infertile women in the country. With the launch of our programs, we will underscore our long -term partnership to build healthcare capacity and train doctors in the fields of Cancer Care, Fertility, and Diabetes care,” commented Dr. Kelej, who is also President for the Merck More Than a Mother campaign.
The Merck Foundation will be working closely with the Office of First Lady to support the establishment of first ever public IVF center in the country by providing technical advice and training to medical and paramedical staff.
The Foundation also plans to introduce other unique initiatives in the country to get the desired culture shift with regard to the stigma related to infertility.
“Initiatives include announcing the Merck more than a Mother Media Recognition Award and Media Health Training in partnership with The First Lady of Guinea together with Ministry Health and Ministry of Communication & Information; Creating songs and movies in partnership with local artists to address the stigma related to infertility and educate people across the country; Also, involving fashion industry to deliver the message of breaking the stigma of infertile women to the community in day to day life which will be achieved by organizing ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Fashion Awards,” explained Dr. Kelej.
The Merck Foundation has provided clinical training on fertility specialty in the past two years and will continue this program in partnership with ministry of health to improve access to quality and equitable fertility care in the country.
The Foundation will also continue enrolling doctors from Guinea in their two year oncology fellowship program and master degree as a contribution to improve cancer care in the country.