Connect with us

News

Merck continues to empower Kenyan women.

Published

on

Merck, a leading science and technology company, on Friday  announced their commitment to empower Kenyan women through their ‘Merck More than a Mother’ and the start of ‘Merck STEM for Women and Girls’ programs.

Speaking at the event in Nairobi, Belén Garijo, Member of Executive Board and CEO of Merck Healthcare emphasized: “I believe in women empowerment and especially childless women – they are mistreated and discriminated in many cultures for being unable to have children and start a family. Empowering these women through access to information, health, and change of mind set to remove the stigma of infertility is needed. Through ‘Merck More than a Mother’ we are supporting this strong message together with our partners and we will continue our commitment to improve access to regulated and effective fertility care in Africa.”

The day’s program also included a courtesy visit to Kenya’s First Lady H.E. Margaret Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi by the Merck delegation to brief her on the two programs and to explore possible areas of collaboration. The delegation consisted of H.E. Madame Brigitte Touadera, First Lady, Central African Republic; Belen Garijo, CEO, Merck Healthcare; Virginie Baiokua, Minister of Social Affairs and National Reconciliation, Central African Republic; Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare; Leonard Saika, Director – Regional Head of Social Responsibility & Market Development – Africa, Merck and Lina Ekomo, Central African Republic.

Madame Brigitte Touadera, the First Lady of the Central African Republic (CAR) emphasized: “I am very happy to participate in today’s event of ‘Merck More than a Mother’ in Kenya as it follows the one we had for the Central African Republic (CAR) last month. As the champion for the initiative in CAR and for Francophone Africa, I acknowledge the role that ‘Merck More than a Mother’ is playing to break the stigma around infertile women and to raise awareness about infertility prevention, male infertility and the necessity of a team approach to family building among couples which is very critical for Africa.”

“It is very important to empower infertile women through improving access to awareness and fertility care so they can bear children as part of their human rights. In case they can no longer be treated, ‘Empowering Berna’ project will contribute towards empowering and training them to establish their own small business so that they can be independent and re-build their lives – a woman is more than a mother, ‘Empowering Berna’ initiative will prove this every day,” Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer  Merck  emphasized.

ALSO READ  BREAKING: VPs who complete president’s tenure eligible for single term, says new law Former President Goodluck Jonathan

In 2016, over 1,000 infertile women in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Liberia, Ghana, Central African Republic and Cote d’Ivoire who can no longer be treated have been empowered socially and economically to lead independent and happier lives through the ‘Empowering Berna’ project.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Health, Cleopa Mailu stated: “As a ministry we are happy with the strategic partnership we have with Merck in Kenya through its Merck Capacity Advancement Program initiatives which are boosting our healthcare capacity with special focus on diabetes, cancer and infertility which contribute to the country’s economic progression”.

“In recognition of the important role women can play in the economic and social development of Africa, Merck is empowering them o participate in STEM where they are currently under-represented, through the ‘Merck STEM Program’ which we are launching today,” Garijo said.

Merck will inaugurate their initiative at OLYMYPIC School where they equipped their library with a Computer Lab to encourage young girls to study science and technology as part of their ‘STEM for Girls and Women’ program in Africa. Furthermore, the winners of UNESCO-MARS awards will act as ambassadors in their respective countries.

The Governor of Nairobi County, Evans Kidero announced during his keynote speech: “We are happy to partner with reputable and innovative companies such as Merck. We believe that the only way to effectively tackle the health and research related challenges we are facing can only be through establishing Public Private Partnership models in implementing successful programs. The size and complexity of the task is so large that no single organization or institution can manage on its own, so integration of efforts is necessary to achieve the health gains that our nation deserves”.

“The Merck STEM Program will encourage our young women and girls to undertake science and technology related courses and make active contribution to the social and economic development of our country”, Kidero added.

“Through this program Merck is targeting to empower over 7,000 girls and 60 women researchers across Africa in 2017”.

“Through this program Merck is targeting to empower over 7,000 girls and 60 women researchers across Africa in 2017 through various initiatives which include setting up computer libraries in schools similar to the one we are launching today for the first time in Kenya at Olympic School in Kibera, Nairobi, and appointing the UNESCO-MARS research award winners as ambassadors for the ‘Merck STEM Program’ ” Rasha Kelej added.

ALSO READ  Over 400 First Batch Oyo Muslim Pilgrims Arrive Saudi Arabia

About ‘Merck STEM for Girls and Women’:

“The program started UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit (UNESCO-MARS) as its first initiative that has been held annually since 2015. UNESCO-MARS aims to build research capacity and empower young African researchers with special focus on empowering women in the fields of  research and healthcare to raise the level of scientific research in Africa and improve access to health solutions in the continent,” explained Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare.

During the 2016 UNESCO-MARS, the ‘Best African Women Researchers Awards’ were launched for the first time with the aim of promoting women in STEM that saw five women researchers from across Africa recognized for the quality of their research. The first award went to Beatrice Nyagol from Kenya Medical Research Institute, who was also celebrated during the event in Nairobi.

During the event, a high level panel discussion by fertility experts and policy makers called for action to break the stigma around infertile women; raising awareness about infertility prevention and management; defining policies to regulate ART; improving access to cost effective fertility care by integrating it into public reproductive health services and building fertility care capacity and providing training to African embryologists.

The high level panel included: Sarah Opendi, Minister of State of Health, Uganda;  Zuliatu Cooper, Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Sierra Leone; Virginie Baikoua, Minister of Social Affairs and National Reconciliation, CAR; Joyce Lay, Member of Parliament, Kenya; Oladapo Ashiru, President of Africa Fertility Society; Joe Simpson, Past President, International Federation of Fertility Societies; Paul Le Roux, President of Southern African Society of Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy; Kamini Rao, Chair International Institute for Training & Research in Reproductive Health, India; Mohamed Kamal, President of Future Assured Foundation, Nigeria and Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare.

In addition to Kenya, ‘Merck More than a Mother’ is already being implemented in Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Tanzania, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire and CAR.

During the event Merck also highlighted other CAP initiatives in Kenya:

  • ‘Merck Cancer Access Program’ which aims to increase the number of qualified oncologists through ‘Merck Africa Oncology Fellowship Program’ in partnership with the University of Nairobi, Kenya and Tata Memorial Hospital in India. Furthermore, Merck aims to support women cancer survivors to establish their own small business so that they can lead an independent and productive life through ‘Merck More than a Patient’ initiative.
  • ‘Merck Diabetes and Hypertension Awards’ with the aim to building a platform of diabetes and hypertension experts across the globe through a one year online diabetes and cardiovascular medicine diploma at University of South Wales, United Kingdom. In 2016 six winners from Kenyan universities received the awards.
ALSO READ  Real Reason Why FG Orders Foreigners to Vacate Zamfara Mining Areas

Watch videos below of TV interviews in Kenya with Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare and Joyce Lay, Member of Parliament, Taita Taveta, Kenya as they speak on infertility and what ‘Merck More than a Mother’ initiative is doing in Africa:

  • ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ – Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer at Merck – TV interview on NTV.
  • ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ – Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer at Merck – TV interview on KBC Channel.
  • Watch TV coverage below of the ‘Merck More than a Mother’ and ‘Merck STEM women and Girls Program’ in Nairobi.
  • Coverage of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ and ‘Merck STEM for Women and Girls’, Kenya on Ebru TV.

Watch below videos on the story of Grace Kambini, an infertile woman from Kenya before and after she enrolled in ‘Merck More than a Mother’s’ ‘Empowering Berna’ Program:

  • ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ with Grace Kambini AKA ‘Mama Chips’.
  • ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ – The Story of Empowering Grace Kambini.

Comments

News

Governor Wike proscribes IPOB’s activities in Rivers

Published

on

By

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has signed an Executive Order proscribing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the state.

Governor Wike,  who made this known on Wednesday during a state-wide broadcast in Port Harcourt, also emphasized that the state is home to all tribes.

According to him, “We have everything against the presence and activities of the legally proscribed and anarchic Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and whatever that group stands for in Rivers State.

“This is clearly a terrorist group whose existence, creed, mission, and activities are strongly denounced even by the Government and peoples of the South-Eastern States of the country.

“I have therefore signed the executive order to reinforce the total ban on IPOB and its activities in Rivers State or any part thereof and nothing will stop us from enforcing this ban in its entirety”, Governor Wike assured

ALSO READ  NBC BAN: Ibadan ace broadcaster, Oriyomi Hamzat heads to court to seek redress
Continue Reading

News

Oyo: Makinde Mother’s Burial Holds December

Published

on

By

Body of Chief   (Mrs.) Abigail Makinde, the mother of Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde will be interred  in the first week of December.

Governor Makinde disclosed this yesterday while playing host to a delegation from the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi Ogunlade Odundun II, which was in Ibadan, the state capital to commiserate with him on the death of his mother.

The governor said he was very delighted with the visit, urging Akure people, the kingdom where his mother was born, to actively participate in her funeral.

Makinde, who  described them as one of the most upright, bold  and honest  people in Yoruba land and the nation at large, also added that his late mother was a role model whose dedication to work, uprightness, boldness and honesty were the traits of Akure people.

A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde,  quoted the governor as saying “when you see an average Akure man or woman, you see courage and see people who are true to their words.”

While delivering the condolence message from the Deji of Akure, the leader of the delegation, who is the Asae of Akure Kingdom, Senior High Chief Sola Adegbonmire, described the governor’s mother as a worthy daughter of Akure Kingdom.

He stressed that the Omoregie family, where Madam Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde hailed from, is a family of exceptional and wonderful people in Akureland.

Oba Aladetoyinbo further described the death of Madam Makinde as a painful loss not only to the Makinde family but also to the entire Akure Kingdom.

He then prayed that God would grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

ALSO READ  Makinde flags off construction of 360 housing units, Ajoda new town estate
Continue Reading

News

‘My mother was an epitome of love, humility’ – Gov. Makinde mourns

Published

on

By

The Oyo  state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, has described his late mother, Chief (Mrs.) Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde, as an epitome of love and humility, despite being a disciplinarian.

The governor stated this on Friday while receiving the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by the National Chairman, Prince Uche Sencondus, on a condolence visit to his house at Ikolaba GRA, Ibadan.

According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the governor expressed gratitude to the PDP NWC, noting that the fact that the leadership of the party made it to Ibadan barely 24 hours after Mama’s demise showed the love they have for him.

The statement also noted that apart from the PDP NWC entourage, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo, and Delta States, Alhaji Daud Akinola, Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh AbdulGaniyy Abubakri Agbotomokekere, the Grand Mufti of Ibadanland, Sheikh Abdul Fatai Alaga, and other Muslim leaders also paid condolence visits to the governor.

Similarly, the Oyo State Judiciary led by the Chief Justice of the state, Justice Muntar Abimbola, and the General Officer Commanding, 2 Div, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Major General Anthony Omozoje, were also at the Makinde residence to condole with the governor.

Speaking while receiving the PDP entourage, which included the National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (retd); Deputy National Secretary; National Financial Secretary, Alhaji Abdullahi MaiBasira; National Woman Leader, Hajia Mariya Waziri; National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, as well a leader of the PDP from Osun State, Hon. Soji Adagunodo, Governor Makinde said the family remains grateful to God for the life Mama lived.

He said: “I want to thank you most sincerely for this condolence visit. I want to say, on behalf of myself, my wife, immediate family, and extended family, we are very grateful and appreciative of this visit. This happened yesterday morning and you are here this morning. It shows that you truly love me. So, I want to say thank you.

“Actually, we were preparing for my mummy’s 81st birthday, which would have been on the November 7, exactly three weeks from yesterday. But who are we to question God?

“We are grateful to God for the life she lived. To us, she was an epitome of love, humility. She was tough. If you see that trait in some of us, it came from her. And we also thank God that it was not like we were carrying her from one hospital to the other. She died peacefully in her sleep. So, we thank God for what He has done.”

Governor Makinde, who also took the opportunity to appreciate the PDP NWC for the confidence it had in him to lead the Ondo State governorship campaign, said what the outcome of the election meant was that the party would have to go back to the drawing board, adding that the campaign council will submit a report as soon as practicable.

“I will also like to use this opportunity to thank the National Working Committee of our great party for the opportunity you gave to us to lead the campaign in Ondo State. We can’t question God for the outcome of that election. What it means is that we have to go back to the drawing board. We will be submitting a report of those areas where we fell short, to the NWC as soon as practicable.

“I really want to use this opportunity to thank all of you who were there in Akure for the love of our party and for the support that you gave to our candidate in Ondo State.

“Once again, my Chairman, I am appreciative of this visit and I thank you and all the members of the NWC of our party.”

Earlier, the PDP national chairman said that the visit was to condole with the governor and the family for the loss of their mother.

He said: “A time like this is the time you know those who care and those who are with you. Unfortunately, we have two situations on our hands. We lost the chairman of the party in Zamfara. Obviously, we divided ourselves; the Deputy National Chairman of the party left for Zamfara yesterday morning for the burial of our late chairman of the party. And I and the rest of us in the National Working Committee leadership decided yesterday to come to Ibadan today.

“We are here by the grace of God to console you and the rest of the members of your family. We have no other way to do it than to join you in prayers.

“It is a very painful experience that you have to go through, sometimes alone. I know what it is because I have experienced it. It is only God that can fill the vacuum in your heart because the care of a mother is quite different from that of a father.

“So, on behalf of the leadership of our party, we are here to console you on this condolence visit. The Lord will strengthen you. And because you are one of our best and doing good works for the people of Oyo State and at this time that you are giving out your best, suddenly, God who gives has taken your beloved mother.

“We are here to share the pain and sorrow with you and to let you know we will continue in prayers during this period, even as we prepare for the funeral. After the funeral, we will continue to pray for you, your immediate and larger family. It is important for us to do so, having worked with you and having seen you as a man who is compassionate and cares for others.

“Today, we are here with you and we pray that God will energise you at this period and stretch His right hand of righteousness to touch every one of the members of the family to bear this great loss.

“Therefore, as members of the National Working Committee, we pray that God will keep you now and thereafter to make you continue to do the good work for the people of Oyo State

ALSO READ  World Bank representative lauds Oyo govt. for robust report on state's educational performance
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Tweets by ‎@megaiconmagg

Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required

MegaIcon Magazine Facebook Page

Advertisement

MEGAICON TV

Trending

%d bloggers like this: