Merck Foundation and First Lady of Liberia work together to break infertility stigma in West Africa

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany together with the First Lady of Liberia, H.E. Clar Weah and Ministry of Health will launch new programmes to build equitable healthcare capacity and break the infertility stigma in the country

The foundation will work closely with the first lady to introduce innovative ideas that will engage different sectors to create a culture shift with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and make a great impact in a short time. The initiatives include the Media Health Training organised recently for journalists and media students of Liberia.

H.E. Clar Weah, who is also ambassador for the Merck More Than a Mother campaign, said: “We welcome Merck Foundation to launch our joint programs which are going to be very beneficial for our people. Their initiatives are very innovative in nature and will help changing the healthcare scenario of our country.”

Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother explained: “We are very happy to underscore our long term commitment to build healthcare capacity in Liberia. We are also very proud to work closely with  the First Lady of Liberia as the ambassador of Merck more than a Mother campaign to raise awareness about infertility prevention, male infertility and define interventions to break infertility stigma. Moreover, we will be happy to provide training to Liberian doctors in the fields of Fertility, Diabetes and Cancer Care.”

Merck Foundation will also partner with local artists to create songs to address this topic and sensitise people across the country. In addition, the first ever “Merck More Than a Mother’ Fashion Awards will also be announced in Liberia to involve local fashion industry to deliver the message of breaking the stigma of infertile women to the community in day to day life.

Merck More Than a Mother initiative aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and health and by changing mind-sets. This powerful initiative supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe and effective fertility care. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention and management. In partnership with academia, ministries of health and international fertility societies, the initiative also provides medical education and training for healthcare providers and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

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