The Merck Foundation has appointed the Wife of the President, Democratic Republic of Congo, H.E. Madam Denise Tshisekedi an ambassador of the foundation and also partnered with her to improve healthcare capacity, break infertility stigma and empower girls through education.
CEO, Merck Foundation Dr. Rasha Kelej, in a high level meeting held during the week, appointed the First Lady of Democratic Republic of the Congo as The Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother to work closely with Merck Foundation to break the stigma of infertility , build healthcare capacity , and empower girls through education in the country
The foundation however reiterated their long term commitment to the social and economic development of Democratic Republic of The Congo through their partnership with The First Lady and Ministry of Health.
Meanwhile, Madam Tshisekedi in her remarks said, “I am very happy to partner with Merck Foundation and start their valuable programs in our country as their Ambassador.
“These programs will help us to transform our public health care sector and create a future shift to empower infertile and childless women through access to information, health and change of mindset as well as empower girls through education which is very close to my heart,” she said.
Earlier, Dr. Kelej, stated that “With the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic, building healthcare capacity is of the highest importance, and through the partnership, the foundation is planning to provide specialty training to equip the local doctors with the skills they need to improve access to equitable and quality healthcare solutions.”
Along with appointing The First Lady of Democratic Republic of the Congo as the Ambassador of Merck More Than A Mother, Merck Foundation also marked the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women”.
“Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations, and on the occasion of ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women’, We must work together to eliminate violence against women and girls once and for all“
“We are also planning to support 20 girl students as part of Merck Foundation – ‘Educating Katty’ which aims to empower girls through education in Democratic Republic of the Congo. We are closely working with The First Lady on this new program with the aim to empower girls through education”, added Dr. Kelej, added.
On the part of improving health capacity, the Merck Foundation noted that 32 doctors from the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been enrolled to master course in Diabetes in French accredited by Diabetes UK as part of their “Diabetes Blue Point Program” to help the doctors prevent and manage the disease in their communities.
Also, the Foundation has also provided Fertility and Embryology training to 5 Doctors from Democratic Republic of the Congo with the aim to establish a strong platform of first Fertility specialists and Embryologists to assist infertile couples in the country as part of their historic campaign “Merck More than a Mother”.