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Merck Foundation CEO inaugurated their first Health Media Training for Gambian Media Fraternity in partnership with Gambia the First Lady

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Merck Foundation CEO inaugurated their first Health Media Training for Gambian Media Fraternity in partnership with Gambia the First Lady

The aim of the training was to teach media representatives how to play an important role in dealing with sensitive health and social issues.

BANJUL, Gambia, January 11, 2022 / APO Group / –

The Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, hosted its first ever “Merck Foundation Health Media Training” via video conference on December 15, 2021 in partnership with HE Ms FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, the First Lady of the Gambia and Ambassador of the Merck Foundation More Than a Mother for The Gambian media.

“The aim of the training was to teach media representatives how to play an important role in addressing sensitive health and social issues, such as breaking the stigma of infertility, ending child marriage, female genital mutilation, violence gender-based and supporting girls’ education. In addition, in these unprecedented times, allowing them to raise awareness about the coronavirus and best health prevention practices during this global pandemic, ”explained Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, executive director of the Merck Foundation and president of the Merck Foundation. More than to Mother.

“I have always emphasized the prominent role of the media, as I firmly believe that the media has the capacity and ability to create cultural change and break the silence and be the voice of the voiceless through their work. daily, ”Dr. Rasha Kelej added.

The Merck Foundation Health Media Training is part of the Merck Foundation’s “More Than a Mother” Community Awareness Program and was chaired by Sen. Dr. Rasha Kelej and led by media industry stalwarts. and infertility experts. Gambian journalists working for print, television, radio and online media, and journalism students attended.

Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej stated: “I recently met with my dear sister and our long-term partner, Ms. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, the First Lady of the Gambia and Ambassador of the Merck Foundation More Than a Mother, to speak about our programs. . I am proud that, until the end of 2021, we have awarded 34 scholarships to young Gambian doctors in various medical specialties such as Fertility and Embryology, Oncology, Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Respiratory, Acute Medicine, Neonatal Medicine and more. Together we are making history by providing specialized training for the nation’s first fertility specialists, embryologists, oncologists, diabetes specialists, respiratory care, intensive care and neonatal medicine. This is a great achievement and a developing story. “

Additionally, through the ‘Educating Linda’ program, the Merck Foundation works to empower girls in education by supporting the education of 20 disadvantaged but bright school children.

Merck Foundation provides 3,000 sets of essential school supplies for girls’ schools. Each recipient receives a set containing 1 ruler, 3 pencils, 2 erasers, 1 pencil sharpener, 1 pen, 6 colored pencils, 1 triangle ruler, 1 protractor, and 1 cloth bag.

The Merck Foundation, in partnership with the First Lady of the Gambia, has released three storybooks for children entitled: “The Story of Musa” to emphasize the strong family values ​​of love and respect from an early age that will reflect the removal of the stigma of infertility and resulting domestic violence. in the future, “Educating Mariam Story” to emphasize the importance of empowering girls through education and “Make the Right Choice Story” to raise awareness about coronavirus prevention among children and youth, as it provides data on the pandemic and how to stay safe and healthy during the outbreak. 30,000 copies of the three storybooks have been distributed to young readers, Gambian school students.

The Merck Foundation, in partnership with the First Lady of The Gambia, also released an empowerment song to break the stigma around infertility in Africa and the rest of the world as part of the community awareness campaign ‘More than a mother’. The song urges men to support their wives during the treatment process to start a family and conveys an important message: “Fertility is a shared responsibility.” It has been written and composed by Sunita, a young female artist from the Gambia.

Link to song: https://bit.ly/3HTLSSl

In addition, together with the First Lady of the Gambia, the Merck Foundation launched 6 major awards for the media, fashion, film and music fraternity to raise awareness on the important issues of breaking the stigma around infertility, underlining the importance of the girls’ education and women’s empowerment. At all levels. Two Coronavirus themed awards were also announced for the Media and Fashion fraternity, aiming to raise awareness about continuing best practices and also show support for our frontline workers in the country and the rest of Africa. Award winners will be announced shortly.

Previously, QTV’s Alieu Ceesay was announced as the First Position winner of the online category of the West Africa Region 2020 “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards.

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