TechInAfrica – Merck Foundation held its first video conference summit ‘Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI) on Monday (31/08).
The online conference aims to strengthen the response to COVID-19 and advancing the healthcare capacity in their respective countries.
Prof. Dr. 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, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother and One of 100 Most Influential African (2019 & 2020) hosted the event, with attendance by 13 African First Ladies, of whom are the ambassadors for Merck More than a Mother.
“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been greater than many expected across the globe. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of investing in improving access to equitable and quality healthcare which is Merck foundation’s strategy since 2012, even before the pandemic started,” Haverkamp said.
Kelej was delighted with their partnership with the African First Ladies and commented, “We have always believed in the importance of building healthcare capacity through providing training to healthcare providers in many medical specialties. This has been our strategy since we started in 2012 in partnership with African First Ladies and Ministries of Health, much before the pandemic started.”
H.E. Dr. Isaura Ferrȃo Nyusi, The First Lady of Mozambique & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother stated, “Together with Merck Foundation, I am fully committed to will work closely 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.”