Senator Rasha Kelej received Botswana First Lady in 2022 to discuss Merck Foundation programs to reshape patient care landscape in Botswana

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Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej and H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana, and Ambassador of Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com) “More Than a Mother” along with 12 African First Ladies of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Angola, and Central Africa inaugurated 9th Edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2022. More than 10,000 participants including healthcare providers, policymakers, researchers, academia, and media representatives from 70 English, French, Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries attended the hybrid Luminary – onsite and online. Botswana First Lady together with Senator Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and other 12 African First Ladies marked together the 5th Anniversary of Merck Foundation and 10-year journey of their development programs by sharing the impact of their partnership programs with Merck Foundation to build healthcare capacity, support girl education and break infertility stigma. Watch the overview of the 2-day Hybrid 9th Edition of the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2022 here: https://bit.ly/3GZ0mCL

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, conducted their annual conference, the 9th Edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary” on 15th & 16th November 2022, as a hybrid conference (onsite and online). The conference was inaugurated by Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of both of Executive Board of E.Merck KG and Merck Foundation Board of Trustees, and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary, and H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of the Republic of Botswana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” amongst 12 other African First Ladies of: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Angola and Central Africa.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej expressed, “I am very proud of our partnership with my dear sister, H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of the Republic of Botswana and Ambassador of Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother”, since 2018. We had a long meeting during 9th edition of our luminary to discuss our joint programs and strategy and report its impact. We were very proud that in a very short span, we have made a great impact together through our programs. We have provided 31 scholarships to young Botswanan doctors in many critical and underserved specialties like Diabetes, Endocrinology, Dermatology, Gastroenterology, Oncology, Respiratory Medicines, Acute Medicines and Sexual and Reproductive Medicines and more. Together we are transforming patient care landscape in the country”.

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H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother shared, “Our partnership with Merck Foundation started in 2018 and since then, we have achieved very important milestones. Other than providing 31 scholarships to our local doctors in many important specialties, which is a big achievement for us, we also introduced many innovative programs that engage different sectors to raise awareness about sensitive social and health issues such as Stopping GBV, Breaking Infertility Stigma, Supporting Girl Education, Ending Child Marriage & FGM, Empowering Women, prevention & early detection of Diabetes & Hypertension.

We launched together a Poster Contest on “Stop GBV” initiative to end Gender-Based Violence in Botswana and Merck Foundation provided 20 Sewing Machines to the women groups who suffer GBV across Botswana to be able to generate monthly income.

We have also closely worked together to create children’s storybook with the aim to stop GBV and support Girl education and end child marriage”.

Watch the video of The First Lady of Botswana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother during the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2022 here: https://bit.ly/3ZGtFS2

Watch the meeting between Merck Foundation CEO, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej and Botswana First Lady, H.E. Mrs. Neo Jane Masisi: https://bit.ly/3XtVXxf

Merck Foundation also announced the Call for applications for their 8 important awards in partnership with The First Lady of Botswana for Media, Musicians, Fashion Designers, Filmmakers, students, and new potential talents in these fields.

Together with Botswana First Lady, Merck Foundation has provided 1 Scholarship to a doctor for Oncology Fellowship program in India. She successfully completed the course and back to the country to serve the people.

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Merck Foundation has also provided 16 scholarships for PG Diploma and MSc in Diabetes and PG Diploma in Endocrinology to young doctors from different provinces in Botswana to strengthen diabetes care in the country.

4 scholarships for PG Diploma and MSc in Acute Medicine and 1 scholarship for Respiratory Medicine have also been provided, along with 1 scholarship for PG Diploma in Dermatology and 1 scholarship for PG Diploma in Gastroenterology.

Considering the limited number of Gynecologists in Botswana, and to significantly improve Women’s Health in general and Reproductive Health in particular, Merck Foundation provided 7 scholarships for PG Diploma and MSc in Sexual and Reproductive Medicine. The expertise of trained doctors will help to add significant value to women’s health and enhance the ability of the doctors in addressing fertility and infertile couples across Botswana.

“Merck Foundation has always believed in the importance of building healthcare capacity and has been working for it since 2012. We will continue to provide medical training to Botswanan doctors in various medical specialties in partnership with the First Lady of Botswana“, assured Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.

The 9th Edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2022 was streamed live on the social media handles of Merck Foundation (https://bit.ly/2MmUl3p) and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej (https://bit.ly/3Xql5F2).

Link to the Facebook live steam of Inaugural Session of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary & African First Ladies High Level Panel: https://bit.ly/3ixZKdW  

Merck Foundation is transforming the Patient care landscape and making history together with its partners in Africa, Asia, and beyond, through:

• 1470 + Scholarships provided by Merck Foundation for doctors from 50 Countries in 32 critical and underserved medical specialties.  

Merck Foundation is also creating a culture shift and breaking the silence about a wide range of social and health issues in Africa and underserved communities through:

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2200 + Media Persons from more than 50 countries trained to better raise Awareness about different social and health issues.

8 Different Awards launched annually for best media coverage, fashion designers, films, and songs.

• Around 30 songs to address health and social issues by local singers across Africa.

8 Children’s Storybooks in three languages – English, French, and Portuguese.

Pan African TV Program “Our Africa by Merck Foundation” addressing Social and Health Issues in Africa through “Fashion and ART with Purpose” Community.

1000+ Girls from 15 African countries supported through scholarships or school items, annually.   

9 Social Media Channels with more than 5 Million Followers.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.

More images: https://bit.ly/3Xl56Ig

Media contact:
Mehak Handa 
Community Awareness Program Manager 
+91 9310087613/ +91 9319606669 
mehak.handa@external.merckgroup.com 

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About Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website. Please visit Merck-Foundation.com to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com); Facebook (bit.ly/32YFKpv), Twitter (bit.ly/2TeOQNj), Instagram (bit.ly/3g6OYr3), YouTube (bit.ly/3zc3up1), and Flickr (bit.ly/2Tay0Pu).

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