Company Name : Merck Foundation

Monday, January 11, 2021 4:21PM IST (10:51AM GMT)
Merck Foundation CEO Celebrates the Winners of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” Africa Media Recognition Awards 2020 to Break Infertility Stigma
Accra, Ghana & Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
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Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany announced the winners of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ Africa Media Recognition Awards 2020. The awards were announced by Merck Foundation CEO in partnership with the First Ladies of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Niger, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Liberia, Guinea Conakry, Ghana, The Gambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Chad, Central African Republic, Burundi, and Botswana, who are also the Ambassadors of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’.
Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation, President ‘Merck More Than a Mother and African Woman of the Year 2020 celebrated the winners saying “Big congratulations to all the winners of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ Africa Media Recognition Awards 2020. First, I’d like to thank my dear sisters, First ladies of Africa for their support as Ambassadors to make this award a great success. I am very proud to recognize and appreciate professional journalists who became the voice of the voiceless and the storytellers of infertile women and break the stigma around them and also raised awareness about male infertility. As you all know I strongly believe in the critical role that media and art play to create a culture shift and raise awareness about health, cultural and sensitive issues such as infertility stigma. I welcome all the winners to be member in our Merck Foundation Alumni to work closely with us to empower women and girls at all levels.”
Merck Foundation received a great response from African journalists in the form of several excellent entries. The ‘Merck Foundation More Than A Mother’ Awards Committee decided to create three Groups of Awards from English speaking countries. Hence, the six groups are: 1) Southern African Countries, 2) East African Countries, 3) West African Countries, 4) African French Speaking Countries, 5) Ghana, and 6) Zambia. Merck Foundation did not receive any entries from Portuguese speaking countries this year for this specific award.

The ‘Merck Foundation More Than A Mother’ Awards Committee further introduced a second and a third position and selected more than one winner in some categories. This was due to the high quality of work received and to encourage more talented and passionate media representatives across all media formats to reach their potential and be a beneficial instrument to address health, cultural and sensitive issues in the country.

Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, Member of the Egyptian Senate (2020- 2025), Most Influential African (2019, 2020) and African Woman of the Year 2020 added, “I am happy to announce that, encouraged by the valuable contribution from the winners, Merck Foundation is additionally rewarding the winners by providing them with one year access to an online educational training program called ‘MasterClass’. The MasterClass is an immersive online experience and self-paced learning course in English that can be accessed anywhere with the Internet.

I encourage the winners to be the ‘Merck Foundation More Than A Mother Advocate’ to further raise awareness about infertility and eliminate the stigma around it. I also welcome them as valuable members of ’Merck Foundation Alumni’.
Here is the list of Award Winners:
Here are the winners from Southern African Countries in partnership with The First Lady of Malawi, H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA; The First Lady of Namibia, H.E. MONICA GEINGOS; and The First Lady of Zimbabwe, H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA:
FIRST Position:

  • Roselyne Sachiti, The Herald Newspaper, ZIMBABWE

SECOND Position:
  • Memory Kutengule, Malawi News Agency, MALAWI
  • Mugugunye Moses, The Standard, ZIMBABWE
THIRD Position:
  • Patrick Musir, The AfroNews, ZIMBABWE
  • Takudzwa Chihambakwe, Zimpapers Group, ZIMBABWE
  • Nyasha Clementine Rwodzi, ZIMBABWE
FIRST Position:
  • Sharon Kavhu, The Southern Times, NAMIBIA
  • Gracious Mugovera, The Patriot, ZIMBABWE

SECOND Position:
  • Happy Njalam'mano, Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), MALAWI
THIRD Position:
  • John Manzongo, The Herald, ZIMBABWE
FIRST Position:
  • Abel Dzobo, HELA TV, ZIMBABWE

SECOND Position:
  • Rosa Teixeira, Independent Journalist, NAMIBIA
FIRST Position:
  • Linda Banda, Chanco Community Radio, MALAWI
  • Veronika Haulenga-Haufiku, Omulunga Radio, Future Group, NAMIBIA
  • Tashie Masawi, ZBC Radio Station Classic 263, ZIMBABWE
SECOND Position:
  • Mathilde Ndinelao Hinanifa, Independent Journalist, NAMIBIA
  • Ikemisetseng Marou, Radio Lesotho, LESOTHO
  • Rutendo Makuti, ZBC Radio Zimbabwe, ZIMBABWE
THIRD Position:
  • Memory Nkwe Ndhlovu, ZBC Radio Station Classic 263, ZIMBABWE
Here are the winners from West African Countries in partnership with The First Lady of Liberia, H.E. CLAR MARIE WEAH; and The First Lady of Nigeria, H.E. Dr. AISHA MUHAMMADU BUHARI:
  • Chioma Obinna, Vanguard Media Limited, NIGERIA
FIRST Position:
  • Martins Ifijeh, ThisDay Newspapers, NIGERIA
SECOND Position:
  • Never G Lomo, New Public Trust, LIBERIA
  • Chinedu Asadu, Cable Newspaper Limited, NIGERIA
  • Abubakar Sulaiman, Sawaba FM 104.9 Hadejia, NIGERIA
Here are the winners from East African Countries:
  • Sharon Kantengwa, The New Times, RWANDA
  • Walter Mwesigye, NTV, UGANDA
  • Mercy Tyra Murengu, Upendo FM, KENYA
Here are the winners from African French Speaking Countries in partnership with The First Lady of Burundi, H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE; The First Lady of Democratic Republic of the Congo, H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI; The First Lady of Guinea Conakry, H.E. CONDÉ DJENE; and The First Lady of Niger, H.E. AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU:

FIRST Position:
  • Richard TAMONE, Le Standard, GUINEA
SECOND Position:
  • Koami Agbetiafa, Le Républicain, NIGER
FIRST Position:
SECOND Position:
  • Ndèye Fatou Diery Diagne,, SENEGAL
FIRST Position:
  • Fatou Fadiga, House Media RTG, GUINEA
SECOND Position:
  • Jean Népomuscène Irambona, Radio TV Buntu, BURUNDI
FIRST Position:
  • Remy Rukundo, Radio TV Buntu, BURUNDI
  • Makan Soumaoro, ESPACE FORET, GUINEA
SECOND Position:
  • Magendero Bénigne, Radio TV Buntu, BURUNDI
  • Aminata Bah, GUINEA
  • Innocent Ndihokubwayo, Radio TV Buntu, BURUNDI
THIRD Position:
  • Paulette Mugisha, Radio TV Buntu, BURUNDI
  • NZEYIMANA Emelyne, Radio TV Buntu, BURUNDI
Here are the winners from Ghana in partnership with The First Lady of Ghana, H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO:

FIRST Position:
  • Jonathan Donkor, The Ghanian Times
SECOND Position:
  • Zadok Kwame Gyesi, Graphic Online
THIRD Position:
  • Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu Agyeman, New Times Corporation
  • Dzifa Tetteh Tay, New Times Corporation

FIRST Position:
  • Esi Benewaa Otoo, TV 3 Network
SECOND Position:
  • Akua Oforiwa Darko, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation
  • Doreen Ampofo, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation Radio
Here are the winners from Zambia in partnership with The First Lady of Zambia, H.E. ESTHER LUNGU:

  • Jessie Ngoma -Simengwa, Times of Zambia
  • Effie Mphande, Zambia Broadcasting Corporation Radio
Josias Muuba, Radio Musi-O-Tunya 
About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign

“Merck More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe, effective and equitable fertility care solutions. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

With “Merck More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility at all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child. 
The Ambassadors of “Merck More Than a Mother” are:
H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana
H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia
H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia
The First Lady of Burundi
H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana
H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic
H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry
H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria
H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad
H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia
H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone
H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville
H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi
H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia
H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo
H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique
H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe
Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Africa Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Film Awards
  • Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
  • Children storybook, localized for each country

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About Merck Foundation
The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, 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 quality & equitable 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 visit to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flicker.


Click here for Media Contact Details

Mehak Handa,Community Awareness Program Manager,Merck Foundation ,mehak.handa@external.merckgroup

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