Merck Foundation marks ‘International Women’s Day’ with the First Lady of Niger

Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E.Merck KG and the Chairman of Merck Foundation Board of Trustees and Dr Rasha Kelej, president of Merck Foundation with Her Excellency, the First Lady of Niger, H.E. Mrs. Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou

  • Merck Foundation, in partnership with the First Lady of Niger builds healthcare capacity in the country with special focus on Cancer, Diabetes and Infertility.
  • Merck Foundation appoints the first Lady of Niger, as an Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother.

Niamey, Niger: Merck launched their Merck Foundation in Niger in partnership with the First Lady of Niger and their Ministry of Health. During the launch event Merck Foundation, a non-profit organization and a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany, marked ‘International women’s Day’ in Niger to empower infertile women through “Merck More Than a Mother” campaign.

During the event, Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E.Merck KG and the Chairman of Merck Foundation Board of Trustees emphasized, ” We are very proud to launch our Merck Foundation in partnership with the First Lady of Niger and Ministry of Health to build healthcare capacity, improve access to Cancer and Diabetes care and to empower infertile women in the country.”

Dr. Rasha Kelej CEO of Merck Foundation explained, “We are very proud to appoint H.E. Mrs. Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou, the First Lady of The Republic of Niger, as an ambassador of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign, to work closely with Merck Foundation in defining interventions to break the stigma around childless women across the country. Through our partnership, we will transform the lives of those unprivileged women, women who suffered all their lives from the infertility stigma.”
Her Excellency, the First Lady of Niger, H.E. Mrs. Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou emphasized, “I truly value our partnership with Merck Foundation. I firmly believe that building professional capacity is a good strategy to help our government to improve access to healthcare in our country. I will also work closely with Merck Foundation to break the stigma around infertility at all levels by raising awareness, training the skills of local experts and by supporting childless women in starting their small businesses.”

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation during the launch of Merck more than a Mother in Niger

She added “Currently, we don’t have any oncologist or fertility specialists in Niger, we do not even have cancer care facility and fertility clinic in the country. Merck Foundation makes history in the Niger, through its ‘Merck Oncology Fellowship Program’ and ‘Merck More Than a Mother’. They will provide training to the first oncologists and fertility specialists for Niger.

“As per the information received from the Ministry of Health, for 22 Million population Niger has only six oncologists, one hematologist, and 12 radiotherapists. This gap is of course not enough to give proper access to quality and equitable cancer care across the country. We hope we can significantly increase the number of oncologists in the next three years.” Rasha Kelej added.

Merck Foundation acknowledges the First Lady of Niger, H.E. Mrs. Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou for her efforts to empower infertile women in Niger and as ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ ambassador.

Merck Foundation is committed to providing one-year to two-years Oncology Fellowship Programs and Clinical Fertility Management Training to four candidates from Niger in 2018 and is determined to provide training to more candidates in the future.
Moreover, Merck Foundation is committed to contributing toward advancing Diabetes Care in Niger, by providing online Diabetes Management Diploma in the French language, for medical postgraduates in Niger and other Francophone African countries, so that they can learn more about diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. The course is accredited by ‘Royal college for general practitioners’ in the UK.
Merck Foundation underscoring their long-term commitment to building healthcare capacity in Niger with the President of the Republic of Niger H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou

About Merck Foundation in Niger:
Merck Foundation is going to provide the oncology and clinical fertility training to the following healthcare professional from Niger: 
Oncology
1.    Dr. Mamadou oumarou ramatou- Adult medical oncology
2.    Dr. Mahamadou aichatou- Paediatric Oncology
3.    Dr. Alhousseini alhassane laila- Radiation oncology
4.    Dr. Moussa soffo Issa- Radiation technician
Clinical Fertility Management Training
1.    Dr. Abdoulaye Maiga
2.    Dr. Barkire Fatoumatou
3.     Dr. Lawali Chekarao Mamadou.
So far, candidates 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’s training programs in fertility or oncology fellowships. Merck Foundation aims to expand to more African and Asian countries soon.

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About Merck Foundation
The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is a philanthropic organization that aims to improve the health and well being of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to innovative healthcare solutions in under-served 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 www.merck-foundation.com  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.

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