Zambian President and Professor Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp inaugurate 8th edition of Merck Foundation 2021 conference



Zambian President and Professor Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp inaugurate 8th edition of Merck Foundation 2021 conference

The Merck Foundation Annual Conference ( was inaugurated by the President of the Republic of Zambia, HE Dr EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU and Prof. and the board of directors of the Merck Foundation; The 8th edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary” was co-chaired by HE ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation; African First Ladies from Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia were the guests of honor of the Luminaire; Over 75,000 participants, healthcare providers, policy makers and academics from 70 countries attended Luminary.

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KgaA launched the 8th edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary” at April 27, 2021, via an online videoconference. It was co-chaired by HE Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of the Merck Foundation.

During his opening speech, at the inauguration of the conference, The President of Zambia, HE Dr EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU underlined “I am very happy to host this important conference with the Merck Foundation, our long-term strategic partner. It is a great honor to inaugurate the conference alongside the First Ladies of Africa. I am sure that this conference will help us to further explore partnership opportunities and introduce new cooperation frameworks in the area of ​​health care capacity building and define interventions to break the stigma of infertility and support the ‘education of girls’.

Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp Chairman of the Board of Directors of E. Merck KG and of the Board of Directors of the Merck Foundation expressed: “I would like to welcome and thank our partners, African First Ladies, African Ministers and health experts from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the rest of the world to join us. in order to realize the vision of the Merck Foundation: “ Everyone in the world should lead happy and fulfilling lives ”, we have achieved a huge success together and we will continue and expand our support to do more ”.

During his opening speech and welcoming speech, HE Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, First Lady of Zambia and Co-Chair of the Merck Africa Asia Luminary Foundation 2021 underlined: “I am very happy to co-chair and host this important Merck Foundation conference and also to celebrate together the 4th anniversary of the Merck Foundation, our long-term partner in healthcare capacity building and development. ‘improved access to health, information and to break the stigma associated with infertility. I am also delighted to welcome my dear sisters, the First Ladies of Africa, to this conference ”.

CEO of Merck Foundation, Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej underlined: “We have welcomed The first ladies of 13 African countries, who are also the Ambassadors of the Merck Foundation More than a mother, at this important conference. Together, we have worked closely over the years on a strong strategy to build healthcare capacity by providing specialized training in various specialties; and define interventions to break the stigma of infertility and support girls’ education.

I am very proud that we have so far provided over 1,100 physicians from 42 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America with specialized training of one, two and three years in several areas such as oncology, diabetes, preventive cardiovascular medicine, Specialty Endocrinology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Acute Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Human Assisted Reproduction and Embryology & Fertility, to be the first in their country. In addition, we have now broadened our horizons by introducing more scholarships for young physicians in many new, underserved specialties in Africa and Asia.

The 8th edition of the Luminaire marked another important step: the 4th anniversary of the Merck Foundation.

As part of the Luminaire, Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative Committee (MFFLI) High Level Group was conducted, in which the 13 African first ladies, who are the Ambassadors of the Merck Foundation More than a mother.

The opening speech was delivered by HE Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia as host and co-chair of the conference with

Day 1 of the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary brought together more than 75,000 participants, healthcare providers, policy makers, academics, researchers and media from more than 70 countries in three languages ​​English, French and Portuguese.

On the second day of the conference, MARCH- Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit took place where a High-level roundtable with ministers of Health, Science and Technology, Education, Information and Gender and MARS researchers with the objective of empowering young African researchers, by advancing their research capacity and empowering them in STEM.

The third day, Merck Foundation Health Media Training was organized for the African and Latin American Media Brotherhood to highlight the important role the media play in breaking the stigma surrounding infertility, raising awareness about infertility prevention and empowering girls and women through the ‘education.

Other important scientific sessions in different medical fields also took place in parallel on days 2 and 3 of the Luminary.

Participating countries include Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Cambodia, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guinea – Bissau, Guinea – Conakry, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uganda, United States, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe and more.

The 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary was broadcast live Facebook page @Merck Foundation ( and Senator Rasha Kelej’s Facebook page (

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