Let’s design policy framework to break infertility stigma among African women— President of Zambia
The President of Zambia, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu has called on Authorities to forge partnership in designing new framework and policy that will help break infertility stigma among Africans.
According to him, it has become necessary for leaders to further explore means in dealing with stigmatisation among African women and also build the capacity of health workers to enhance health care needs.
President Lungu said this when he inaugurated the eight edition of Merck Foundation Conference 2021, which was held virtually for over 75,000 participants from 70 countries.
He noted that many Africans were being stigmatised and expressed an urgent need for leaders to introduce interventions that would help deal with the problem and the issue of girl child education.
“I am very glad to be hosting this important conference together with Merck Foundation, our long term strategic partner. It is a great honour to inaugurate the conference alongside the First Ladies of Africa,” President Lungu added.
Professor Dr Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E.Merck KG and Merck Foundation Board of Trustees said Africans should work in realising the vision of Merck Foundation.
“Everyone in the world should lead a happy and fulfilling life’, we have achieved together, a huge success and we are going to continue and extend our support to achieve more,” he added.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Merck Foundation, Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej lauded the first ladies of the 13 African countries, including the First lady of Ghana, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo who joined the conference for their outstanding work as ambassadors of the Foundation.
“We welcome The First Ladies of 13 African Countries, who are also the Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More than a Mother, to this important conference.
Together, we have worked closely throughout the years on a strong strategy to build healthcare capacity by providing specialized training in various specialties; and define interventions to break infertility stigma and support girls’ education,” he added.
Dr Kelej indicated they have trained a total of 1100 doctors from countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America with one to three year capacity training in multiple fields including Oncology, Diabetes, Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, Endocrinology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Acute Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Human Assisted Reproduction and Embryology and Fertility.
He promised his outfit’s commitment in broadening their horizons by introducing more scholarships for young doctors in many new underserved specialties across Africa and Asia.
The eight Edition of the Luminary marked another important milestone: the fourth Anniversary of Merck Foundation.
The Merck Foundation was established in 2017, as the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany.
It among other things seek to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology with the primary focus on improving access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, while empowering women and youth in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).