Yesterday, 14th of July, Merck Foundation, a philanthropic organization that focuses on improving access to innovative healthcare solutions in underserved communities, has committed to a long term partnership with the Government of Tanzania. The details of this partnership commitment is contained in a Press release from the organisation, following a high level meeting between Her Excellency Vice President, Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan and Dr Rasha Kelej, the CEO of Merck Foundation.
According to the report, as published on APO: “Merck Foundation will focus on providing one year and two years surgical and paediatric oncology fellowship program in India, Europe and University of Nairobi for Tanzanian doctors to improve the cancer care in the country.” Also, Merck Foundation (MF) will focus on empowering infertile women through access to information, awareness, health, change of mind set and economic empowerment across the country through their ‘Merck more than a Mother’ campaign.”
Report from MF revealed that: “The prevalence of infertility is so high in Africa,” that; “one out of every four couple in reproductive age suffers from infertility.” Rasha Kelej confirmed this in her talk. She stated that: “The prevalence of infertility is so high in Africa, one every four couple in reproductive age suffers from infertility and yet around 85% of those cases are due to untreated infectious disease which can prevented, hence raising awareness about prevention through local media and social media is very critical.”
Rasha Kelej added that: “Raising awareness about male infertility as the infertility affects women and men equally and yet women are the one who been solely blamed, discriminated and mistreated in their communities.” Therefore, according to the CEO, “The campaign will address this topic and encourage men to discuss openly their infertility and share the journey of infertility diagnosis and treatment with their wives.”
Receiving her guests, reports have it that, “Her Excellency Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan commended the role Merck Foundation plays in healthcare capacity building in Africa and welcomes them to Tanzania. In her remarks, she expressed her excitement as host for the Merck Foundation. Her Excellency described MF as a reputable organisation to reckon with.
“Tanzania welcomes Merck Foundation to the country, we are happy to partner with such reputable and serious organization that empowers women, …youth, healthcare and science.”
She disclosed her personal interest to work with the Foundation to see their plans come alive.
“I will personally work with you to empower these underprivileged women socially and economically across Tanzania and the rest of the world to create a culture shift needed to respect and appreciate women as productive members in society whether they are mother or not.”
Correspondent: Ridwan A. Olayiwola