Two Plus Two Equals Four!!!

My water broke around 3:30 that Sunday afternoon. Since I’d been in ‘barely there’ labor since 9 in the morning, everything was ready and already by the door. I quickly put on the blue dress that boyfriend was ironing at the time and we rushed out...

Modern Mom Can't Cook

The food had just started boiling when I heard a knock on the door. My pocket was hurting that day; I only had 4 shillings to my name. Not one to despair, I was contented working with what I had – rice, potatoes and an onion. Without the tomatoes to at least add some color, I was prepared to have some very bland lunch. But it was ok, ...

Biggest Baby Expenses and How to Save on Them

Though the spending on the new baby is inevitable, there are steps you can take to ensure that you keep the costs at a minimum. In this post, we look at the biggest baby expenses and how to save on them ...

I am Selfish

There’s a long hoot and I’m screaming his name at the top of my lungs. In that split second, I see my life come to an end. I see myself losing my best friend barely two days after his coming home. I see him robbed of life right before my very eyes...

Are you Making these six Parenting Mistakes?

Parenting would be easier if it came with a manual. We all have different parenting styles and none can be said to be better than the other. There are however mistakes we all make as parents, sometimes coming from a very good place.In this post we discuss six major parenting mistakes.

Dealing with Unwarranted Parenting Advice

Being different is ok. We are all special in one way or another. This memo, however, did not get to the perfection bullies. When your child is a little different, they’ll make it their business to tell you what you probably did wrong to end up where you are, and come up with so many solutions to your problem your head will spin.

Melina's Messy Updo

A messy updo comes in handy when I need to do a simple hairstyle in little to no time. I have found that it works best on freshly washed hair as the curls are more defined then. You do not even have to comb it. Just shampoo, condition, moisturize, oil and style :-)

Of Housegirls and Parenting

She called early Sunday morning telling me that she was in town but when I went to get her, my calls went unanswered. Thirty missed calls later, I could not reach her. Thinking that her phone must have run out of charge, I now had the hectic task of looking for her in a crowded town via footsteps the way it used to be done like 3 presidents ago ...

Goodbye Ceskycess. Hello, Modern Mom.

When I started blogging, I had no idea what I wanted to say. I therefore wrote some really pathetic posts and prayed that no one would ever read them. A few months later, a love interest did some stalking, found my blog and read the half-baked posts. To please me (I think), he praised and gushed my writing.

Merck commits to Long-term Partnership with African First Ladies Organization through Merck Foundation

  • Marking the “World Cancer Day” at African Union Assembly, Merck Foundation pledges to continue their commitment to provide oncology fellowship program across Africa in partnership with African First Ladies.
  • Merck Partners with African First Ladies Organization to Implement Merck Foundation’s Programs in their Countries
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation with H.E. Madam Roman Tesfaye, the First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Chairperson of African First Ladies Organization during the MoU signing event at The African Union Assembly, Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Merck Foundation, a non-profit organization and a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany, signs Memorandum of understanding -MoU with the African First Ladies Organization with the aim to achieve the objectives of raising awareness, building professional capacity and improving healthcare access in the field of Cancer and fertility care in Africa.

Merck Foundation has conducted many educational and fellowship programs in Africa since 2012 in the field of non-communicable diseases through Merck Cancer Access Program, Merck capacity Advancement Program, Merck STEM Program and Merck more than a Mother campaign.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation emphasized during the signing event,” We are delighted to partner with the African First Ladies Organization, to build health capacity and improve healthcare access in the field of cancer and fertility care, Merck Foundation dedicate majority of their efforts to build healthcare capacity in Africa and developing countries and with this partnership, we will be able to achieve our vision of a world where everyone can lead a healthy and fulfilling life.”

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation with H.E. Madam Roman Tesfaye, the First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Chairperson of African First Ladies Organization during the MoU signing event at The African Union Assembly, Ethiopia

The MOU aims to raise awareness optimally about the prevention, management and de-stigmatization of infertility and cancer in women. It will also aim to build professional capacity and improve access to fertility and cancer care in cooperation with the African First Ladies in their countries.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation with H.E. First Lady of the Republic of Chad Madame Hinda Deby Itno
(L-R) H.E. Madam Sia Koroma, First Lady, Sierra Leone, H.E. First Lady of the Republic of The Gambia, Madame Fatoumattah Bah-Barrow and H.E. First Lady of Lesotho Madame Maesaiah Thabane and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation.
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation with H.E. First Lady of Zimbabwe Auxillia C. Mnangagwa

In 2017 alone, MF initiated the following activities in partnership with academia, ministries of health and the offices of First Ladies in more than 35 countries:

Merck Cancer Access Program:
Over 30 African physicians received Oncology Fellowship programs spanning one to two years, with the aim to help increase the limited number of oncologists in Africa.

Merck more than a Mother:
More than 40 candidates received three-month clinical training to be embryologists and fertility specialists in Africa and Asia to improve quality, regulated and safe fertility care in developing countries.

Merck Diabetes and Hypertension Awards:
Over 50 medical postgraduates will receive a one-year online diploma in diabetes or preventive cardiovascular medicines, as part of the effort to establish a platform of diabetes and hypertension experts in Africa and Asia.

The Merck Foundation upholds its commitment to building capacity and improving access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions with special focus on cancer and fertility care in Africa. So far, doctors from Uganda, Zambia, Ethiopia, Namibia, Tanzania, Ghana, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Botswana, Liberia, Rwanda, Kenya, Chad, Niger, Guinea, Gambia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal have benefitted from Merck Foundation programs. Merck Foundation aims to expand to more African and Asian countries in the near future.

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About Merck Foundation
The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is a philanthropic organization that 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 innovative 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 go to  to read more and/or register online to interact and exchange experience with our registered members.

Merck Foundation is a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany

About Merck
Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2016, Merck generated sales of € 15.0 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

Until we see each other again, 

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Merck Foundation Marks ‘World Cancer Day 2018’ in Uganda and Tanzania

  • Merck Foundation conducts post-training evaluation for their first graduate of ‘Merck Oncology Fellowship Program’ in Tanzania.
  • Merck Foundation commits to long-term partnership with Uganda minister of health through providing one and two years oncology fellowship in India, Egypt, and Malaysia for Ugandan doctors.
  • Following the ‘We Can. I can’ theme of ‘World Cancer Day 2016–18’ Merck Foundation commits to building cancer care capacity in Africa and developing countries
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with the Reginald N. Natal a former cancer patient treated by Dr. Christina V. Malichewe, alumni of ‘Merck Oncology Fellowship Program’ and the first medical oncologist from Tanzania.

Merck Foundation, a non-profit company and a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany marks ‘World Cancer Day 2018’ to create awareness around cancer and build cancer care capacity with the aim to increase the limited number of oncologists across Africa and developing countries.

The CEO of Merck Foundation Dr Rasha Kelej recently visited Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Science, Tanzania to meet the alumni of ‘Merck Oncology Fellowship Program’ with the aim to evaluate the impact of the one and two-year medical oncology fellowship programs conducted in Tata memorial center in India. Through ‘Merck Oncology Fellowship Program’ foundation has trained the first medical oncologist in Tanzania, Dr Christina V. Malichewe.

During her visit to Tanzania Dr Rasha Kelej emphasized,” We strongly believe that building professional capacity is the right strategy to improve access to quality and equitable cancer care in the continent. Dr Christina is one of the 59 future oncologists, Merck Foundation has Committed to train for Africa.”

In June 2017, BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), and the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), released a white paper on the African continent’s emerging cancer crisis.

Over 20% of African countries have no access to cancer treatments at all, while access is limited and sporadic in other countries. Later-stage diagnosis in African patients contributes to poorer outcomes. For example, 5-year female breast cancer relative survival rates are 46% in Uganda and 12% in The Gambia, compared with around 90% in developed countries.

The first medical oncologist in Tanzania, Dr. Christina V. Malichewe said, “I can now make difference for my patients. We don’t have medical oncology to manage patients through chemotherapy, we only have clinical oncologists and radiotherapists. Thus, one-year medical oncology fellowship in India has enabled me to save many lives, every day. Thanks to Merck Foundation for this opportunity in Tanzania.”

During her meeting with Dr Christina, Dr. Rasha Kelej said “I’ve enjoyed every moment with her, witnessing the great impact she makes every day on her patients’ lives. Through her, we transform people’s lives every day.”

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation addressing the community meeting with the Hon. Sarah Opendi, Minister of State of Health for Uganda.

Hon. Sarah Opendi, Uganda Minister of State of Health said, “Merck Foundation and ministry of health of Uganda have been partners for a very long time, we have been working together on various issues with special focus on cancer and infertility. We appreciate the efforts of Merck Foundation in building cancer care capacity in Uganda and other African countries, and we hope soon we would have world class cancer facilities and expert locally in our beloved country.”

The first fellow for ‘Merck Oncology Fellowship Program’ from Uganda Dr. Sekitene Seei Buwambaza said, “Merck Oncology Fellowship program is very important to me because it is giving me an opportunity to learn and improve on the way, I have been doing things concerning the management of cancer patients. It is also ushering me into the new trend that cancer care and research is taking in this 21st century. A bond with Merck Foundation as an alumnus is going to keep me updated with new developments in cancer care.”

Fellowship Program’ from Uganda, Dr. Musana Othiniel, an obstetrician and gynaecologist from Uganda, “Uganda as a country lacks a national cancer screening program yet cervical cancer and breast cancer remains the most common cancers and accounts for the highest proportion of cancers requiring treatment. The country also has a shortage of good gynaeoncology clinicians, researchers and educators in Uganda hence limiting access for women with cancer to screening, diagnostic and treatment services.”

He further added, “The ‘Merck Oncology Fellowship Program’ will expand my knowledge on the selection of appropriate clinical and research methodology used in gynae-oncology. I hope to improve my skills in carrying out appropriate and evidence-based clinical diagnosis and treatment but also empower me with excellent clinical education skill to mentor other young health workers in gynae-oncology. “

While Appreciating the efforts of Merck Foundation, Dr Damas Dukundane, Merck Foundation oncology fellow from Rwanda said “When the right people are in charge then the right things happen. I am so excited to be part of this journey of change makers, where the history will remember us as the Merck Foundation fellows, who improved the lives of people with cancer in Africa, in the 21st century “

Moreover, 50 future oncologists either joined or will join one, two or three years ‘Merck Oncology Fellowship Program’ from many sub-Saharan African countries out of which, countries such as Gambia and Liberia never had oncologists.

Merck Foundation will provide eight doctors from both Uganda and Tanzania with one -year medical oncology fellowship program. Furthermore, together with the University of Nairobi, Merck Foundation established the first two-year medical oncology fellowship program for Sub-Saharan Africa.


Join the conversation on our social media platforms below and let your voice be heard

Join Merck Foundation healthcare & research online community to exchange experience and information with other healthcare providers, researchers, students, policy makers and community members in Africa and beyond

  Until we see each other again, 

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7 Creative Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for her in 2018

The romantic month is here with us again and if you're there wondering what to get that special woman in your life on 14th, then relax because we got you. Here are 7 creative Valentine's Day gift ideas for her.


Think a necklace, a bracelet or a moderately pricey ring.

How about this gold two-in-one pendant necklace with a clasp fastening? It is elegant and romantic. post

A Classic Handbag

This one is a classic. She will always find use for a nice handbag whether carrying her essentials to church, office or to a party.

This 3-in-1 shoulder bag comes in black, blue, brown and maroon. post

A Scarf

Scarves can take that dull outfit to the next level effortlessly. They are an essential part of any lady's wardrobe.

This blue/beige star print long scarf is double sided thus giving you two scarves at the price of one. post


You can never go wrong with a good perfume.

Escada Magnetism is a vanilla fragrance for the ladies with red berries, pineapple, melon, black current litchi and cassia top notes. post

A Flirty Dress

A skater dress is a perfect gift for Valentine's. It cinches the waist at it's tiniest complementing anybody type by emphasizing the curves.

This `sweet piece is trendy, elegant and affordable. post

A Watch

Gone are days when watches were just used to tell the time. We now have phones. The main purpose of watches today is to make a fashion statement. And what better way to do so than with this stunning piece?

This stunning timepiece is perfect for any occasion. It is water resistant and has a round alloy case with a ceramic bezel. post

A Classy Heel

I'm yet to meet a woman who is not obsessed with shoes. A nice heel will score you major points. Double points if you can find one that can transition between day and evening.

These Saints nude pumps have a detailed heel for that classy finish. post

Until we see each other again, 

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A Mother's Voice Lights Up a Childs' Brains

A study has revealed that there is something very special about a mother's voice. 
According to a study published on 16 May, 2016 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal, kids brains respond to their mothers' voices more strongly than they respond to strangers' voices. This holds even when they only hear the voices for a fraction of a second.

In a statement, Daniel Abrams, the lead author of the study and an instructor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University explained, "We know that hearing [their] mother's voice can be an important source of emotional comfort to children. Here, we're showing the biological circuitry underlying that."

In the research, the scientists scanned the brains of 24 healthy kids between ages 7 and 12. Each child listened to clips less than 1 second long of nonsense words spoken by their biological mom and 2 other women unknown to the child.

The findings revealed that the children could not only identify their mothers' voices 97% of the time, but the sound of the mothers' voices triggered parts of the brain associated with emotions, reward and facial recognition more than when the voices of the other two women were heard. While previous studies have shown that kids prefer their mother's voices, with newborns being able to recognize her voice among the voices of other women, this recent study showed that mom's voice affects parts of the brain beyond those involved in listening.

According to some of the researchers, this study could explain why children are able to recognize their mother's voices so fast. Seeing that her voice activates parts of the brain associated with rewards, the brain is conditioned to recognize her voice faster so as to reap the rewards.

So there you have it. If you ever needed a reason to talk to your kids more, now you have it.

Have a talkative one!

Until we see each other again, 

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