Merck Foundation To Formally Confer Ambassadorial Title On Liberian First Lady
Months after naming Liberian First Lady Clar Marie Weah as ‘Merck More than a Mother Ambassador’, the Merck Foundation is expected to officially formalize the nomination at the October 29-30 Sixth Edition of Merck Africa-Asia Luminary in the Ghanaian capital, Accra.
The ceremonies, which will also mark Merck Foundation’s second anniversary, will be co-chaired by Ghanaian First Lady Rebecca Nana Akofu-Addo and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Merck KGaA Germany, was established in 2017 to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology.
Through one of its major campaigns, “Merck More Than a Mother”, the foundation partners with African First Ladies and a host of stakeholders to empower infertile women through access to information, education, and change of mind-sets about infertility.
A release from the Office of the First Lady says Mrs. Weah is committed to leading the campaign to break the stigma around infertile women and raise awareness about infertility prevention, management, and male infertility.
Since the partnership between Mrs. Weah and Merck Foundation began in March this year, Liberia continues to benefit immensely, particularly in enhancing the country’s healthcare capacity and addressing health challenges.
At least 13 Liberian candidates are now benefiting from the Merck Foundation one and two year-oncology fellowships and master degree programs respectively in India and Egypt with a concentration in medical oncology, surgical oncology and radiation, and gynecology, among others.
Meanwhile, seven doctors and biotechnologists – two of whom have completed their studies already – are being trained to be Liberia’s first fertility specialists and embryologists to boost the government’s efforts in supporting infertile couples through quality and effective care for the first time in Liberia.
The Liberian First Lady is confident that her partnership with Merck Foundation will benefit doctors and ensure a significant improvement in the Liberian health sector especially in addressing infertility, cancer and other non-communicable diseases.
According to the release, First Lady Weah will be a guest of honor at the “Merck Africa-Asia Luminary” which will be officially inaugurated by the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
African First Ladies and Ministers of Health, Gender, Information, and Education from 20 African countries will attend the conference which will benefit more than 1,000 healthcare providers and policymakers from 60 countries.