Dr. Rasha Kelej Welcomed 13 African First Ladies to 9th Merck Foundation “Africa Asia Luminary” 2022 in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, conducted their annual conference, the 9th Merck Foundation “Africa Asia Luminary” on 15th & 16th November 2022, as a hybrid Conference. The conference was inaugurated by Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Merck Foundation, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation, along with African First Ladies of 13 Countries; H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana; H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi; H.E. Madam DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, The First Lady of the Democratic Republic of The Congo; H.E. Mrs. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia; H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana; H.E. Mrs. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia; H.E. Mrs. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi; H.E. Mrs. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique; H.E. Mrs. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia; H.E. Dr. FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone; H.E. Mrs. MUTINTA HICHILEMA, The First Lady of Zambia; H.E. Dr. ANA DIAS LOURENÇO, The First Lady of Angola; H.E. Madam BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central Africa.

Senator Rasha Kelej emphasized, “I am very proud to welcome the First Ladies of Africa and the Ambassadors of ‘More than a Mother’. We shared experiences & discussed the impact of our programs to build healthcare & media capacity and raise awareness on a wide range of sensitive social and health issues like Supporting Girl Education, Ending Child Marriage, Stopping GBV, Breaking Infertility Stigma, Ending FGM, Women Empowerment, Diabetes Awareness.”

“For the first time, we have conducted a hybrid conference, attended by over 10,000 participants from 70 countries to meet here in Dubai and discuss strategies and solutions for the health challenges in their countries, with an aim to transforming patient care landscape, building media and healthcare capacity. I am proud that Merck Foundation has provided more than 1470 scholarships to doctors from 50 countries in 32 critical and underserved specialties. Many of them are becoming the first specialists in their countries. We are making history together,” she added.

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