Merck Foundation CEO together with The First Lady of Central African Republic meets 100 infertile women

Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com) underscored their partnership with the First Lady and ministry of Health of Central African Republic – C.A.R.; Merck Foundation awards the First Lady of Central African Republic to acknowledge her efforts to empower infertile women as ambassador for Merck More than a Mother.


H.E. MADAM BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation & President, Merck More Than a Mother during their special meeting with more than 100 infertile women

Merck Foundation CEO, Dr. Rasha Kelej together with H.E. MADAM BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic – C.A.R. & Merck more than a Mother Ambassador, conducted a special meeting with more than 100 infertile women who have been enrolled in the “Empowering Berna” to establish small businesses for them.  

“Empowering Berna” is special project part of Merck more than a Mother campaign initiated by Merck Foundation for underprivileged infertile women who can no longer be treated, to establish small businesses and train them to be able to generate steady monthly income.

H.E. MADAM BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic & Merck more than a Mother Ambassador emphasized “It is great initiative by Merck Foundation to empower our women by improving their access to information, knowledge and through capacity building to start their own business. Thus, they will be independent and lead a respectable life. This way they can comprehend their rights, roles and responsibilities and be more than mothers.”

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation & President Merck More than A Mother emphasized, “It is very important to empower infertile women by providing treatment so they can bear children as part of their human rights. But for those who cannot be treated anymore, our initiative ‘Empowering Berna’ will help to train them to establish their own small business so that they can be independent and re-build their own lives. We truly believe that a woman is a lot more than just a mother. We should also encourage men to speak up about their infertility and support their wives. We will also help young couple to find proper access to fertility care by providing training to fertility specialists as we did for oncologists and diabetes specialists. Our vision is to establish a strong platform of health specialists in the country and the rest of Africa”.

Merck Foundation also underscored their commitment to build healthcare capacity in the country. During the committee meeting, many new programs were finalized and launched in partnership with the Ministry of Health of C.A.R. 

Merck foundation acknowledged and awarded the First Lady of Central African Republic for her efforts as “Merck more than a Mother” Ambassador in Central African Republic. 

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation & President Merck More than A Mother, together with H.E. MADAM BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic & Merck more than a Mother Ambassador pledged to support more childless women through Merck more than a Mother campaign. In partnership with the First Lady and ministry of health, Merck foundation will also provide clinical training on fertility specialty to improve access to quality and equitable fertility care in the country. 

Merck Foundation has discussed with the H.E. President of Central African RepublicH.E. FAUSTIN-ARCHANGE TOUADÉRA, their long term partnership to build healthcare capacity in the country which he strongly endorsed and supported. 

Merck Foundation also approved a list of candidates to be enrolled in their one and two year oncology fellowship program as a contribution to improve cancer care in the country. Moreover, they will also provide on-line diabetes diplomas in French for Doctors from C.A.R as well as cardiovascular preventive medicines fellowship in Asia.

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