Merck more than a Mother campaign will improve access to quality and safe fertility care.
A leading science and technology company has launched a campaign aimed at improving access to quality and safe fertility care across Africa. Merck in partnership with Indonesian Reproductive Science Institute (IRSI) seeks to empower women through improving access to information and healthcare and change of mind set through it is “ More than a Mother “ campaign.
Merck more than a Mother campaign, a pan-African initiative aims to build fertility capacity, raise awareness about infertility prevention and male infertility. It also opens a dialogue to define interventions to reduce the stigma and social suffering of infertile women in Africa which includes discrimination and physical and psychological violence.
Abuse and discrimination
“Countless women in Africa face fear, abuse and discrimination every day simply because they are infertile,” said Belén Garijo, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Healthcare. “After Kenya, we are proud to launch the More than a Mother campaign in Uganda and work with the Ministry of Health, the medical community and parliamentarians to change perceptions and reduce the harsh social suffering of infertile women in Africa.” Garijo said
The campaign was first implemented in Kenya in 2015 and is being rolled out this year in Uganda, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Uganda Women Parliamentary association (UWOPA) and Africa Fertility Society (AFS) and progressively rolled-out in more African countries.
Minister of State for Health for Uganda, Hon. Sarah Opendi emphasized during her speech: “We are happy to partner with reputable and innovative companies such as Merck. We believe that “Merck More than a Mother” campaign addresses a very sensitive topic for the first time in Africa, we all know it is there but no one wants to talk about it. This initiative will help to empower infertile women by improving access to information and change in the culture and mind set.”
“Most Sub-Saharan African countries don’t have trained embryologists hence providing training to our embryologists will contribute significantly to improve the quality and accessibility to fertility care to couples in Uganda and Africa so that they can start their families,” she added.
“Merck More than a Mother” campaign is very important for African women and for Africa at large as the inability to have a child or to become pregnant can result in being greatly isolated, disinherited or assaulted. This may result in divorce or physical and psychological violence.” said Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare.
“Merck will provide training for African embryologists in Indonesia starting with candidates from Uganda and Kenya and will scale up to the rest of the continent. It will also provide education for healthcare providers which will improve basic fertility management and improve awareness about prevention and male infertility which is needed in Africa as can be seen below in the videos of Berna and the Ugandan couple” Said Kelej.
Merck joins hands with Indonesian Fertility experts to provide advanced embryology training for African candidates starting by Kenya and Uganda and expanding to the rest of Africa.
Dr Ivans Sini, President of Indonesian Reproductive Science Institute (IRSI) emphasized” we are very happy to partner with Merck to provide this high technology training to develop African embryologists to be able together to improve access to quality and safe fertility care in Africa, it is a great idea and very proud to be part of it. We are very excited to meet them next month”