Merck Foundation Partners with Burundi’s Government to Launch Health Capacity Building Programs in the Country

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The Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, a leading healthcare and technology company, has officially launched its programs in partnership with Burundi’s First Lady together with the country’s Ministry of Health and Government.

The Foundation has also awarded the First Lady of Burundi to acknowledge her efforts as “Merck More Than a Mother” Ambassador. More Than a Mother is a campaign helped at addressing women’s healthcare issues, including infertility.

In an announcement made this week, the origination underscored their commitment to build healthcare capacity in Burundi during their high-level meeting with The President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza and The First Lady of Burundi, Denise Nkurunziza.

The discussion was led by Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of Merck KG and the Chairman of Merck Foundation Board of Trustees and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation to explain their health capacity building programs.

“Burundi welcomes the programs of Merck Foundation,” the country’s Head of State said.

“These programs are going to be very critical and beneficial for our people and their social and economic well-being. I wholeheartedly support Merck Foundation in our country, to enable the success of all their programs with the aim to build healthcare capacity and break the stigma of infertility,” he added.

“We are very happy to partner with Merck Foundation and launch their programs in our country. These programs will create a very significant impact on our people’s advancement, as health is very critical to our social and economic development,” said the First Lady.

“Our aim is to improve the overall health and wellbeing of people of the continent at large. Through Merck Foundation, we commit to build healthcare capacity in the country to be able to provide access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions to the people of the country,” commented Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp.

“We are going to make history by training the first oncology team, first fertility specialist and first diabetologist in the country. We ate really proud of this plan”, emphasized Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother.

Additionally, the Merck Foundation conducted the first Health Media Training in the country in partnership with The First Lady of Burundi, Ministry of Health together with Ministry of Communications and media. It was attended by over 50 journalists and was organized to train them on the international standards and media ethics for reporting sensitive issues like infertility in Africa.

The training will help create an understanding of infertility issues in African communities with the aim to break its stigma and sensitize communities through media outlets.


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