The Merck foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of international health tech company, Merck, has officially launched a series of development programs in partnership with Zambia’s First Lady and the country’s Ministry of Health.
As part of the launch, the Foundation awarded the First Lady of Zambia for her efforts as the ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Ambassador, while also launching the Merck More than a Mother Media Recognition Awards and Zambia’s first Health Media training initiative.
More Than a Mother is a campaign that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and health.
The Merck More than a Mother Fashion award was launched in partnership with Zambia First Lady and Zambia Fashion Week.
The Merck Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany, underscored their commitment to build healthcare capacity in Zambia during their high level meeting with The Head of State of Zambia, Edgar Lungu and The First Lady of Zambia, Esther Lungu at the State House of Zambia.
“The government will support initiatives that are aimed at addressing infertility in the country,” President Lungu commented following the announcement.
“These programs will continue to make 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 health and wellbeing of people of Zambia and rest of Africa,” said Merck Foundation CEO, Dr. Rasha Kelej.
On his part, Zambia’s Minister of Health, Chitalu Chilufya thanked the Merck Foundation for offering scholarships to Zambian medical personnel.
The Foundation has been in partnership with Zambia’s Ministry of Health since 2016, providing training for the first Fertility specialists in Zambia.
The Merck Foundation has also provided training for the first Surgical, Pediatric and Gynecology, radiology and adult Oncologists in Zambia through a one-year Merck Oncology Fellowship Program in India.
Going forward, the Foundation will start what is known as their ‘Blue Points’ project to help improve access to equitable and quality diabetes care across Zambia through providing one-year on-line diabetes diploma to 10 doctors, one from each province in Zambia.
Every diploma graduate will be able to establish a diabetes clinic in their center or hospital with the aim to help their respective communities to better prevent and manage diabetes.