Merck Foundation will continue to address social, health stigmatisation issues – CEO

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By Ebere Agozie

The Chief Executive Officer of Merck Foundation,  Sen. Rasha Kelej, says the foundation will continue to address a wide range of critical social, sensitive and health stigmatisation issues across the globe.

Kelej said this at the 2023, 10th edition of Merck-Foundation-Africa-Asia-Luminary conference, organised in partnership with Tata Memorial Centre, Department of Atomic Energy and India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

She said these issues ranged from Supporting Girl Education, Women Empowerment, Ending Child Marriage, Stopping Gender-Based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation, Infertility stigmatisation, creating Diabetes and Hypertension awareness and Health Media Training.

“I am very proud that Merck Foundation has been an outstanding and significant contributor towards transforming the patient care landscape in many countries across Africa, Asia and beyond since 2012.

“We are very passionate about breaking infertility stigma around women, we are also passionate about supporting girl education as raising educated girls means stronger women, stronger families, communities and stronger and wealthier countries.

“We have been working with African First Ladies to support girl education through providing scholarships and grants for brilliant but underprivileged girls to continue their education.”

She stressed that educating girls, especially the underprivileged, will make them reach their full potentials and fulfil their dreams and become super  mothers.

“In fact, educated girls become women who know their rights and duties, they become super mothers whether they have children or not.

“We are committed, for these past 11 years, towards healthcare capacity advancement and patient care transformation and reshaping the landscape of the public healthcare sector in 50 countries in Africa, Asia and beyond.”

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She said that educating girls offers numerous benefits to a country’s development and progress.

“When girls receive quality education, it empowers them with knowledge, skills, and opportunities and enables them make informed choices about their lives.

“This, in turn, leads to improved health outcomes, reduced child mortality rates, and better family planning.

“Moreover, supporting girl child education also promotes gender equality and reduces child marriages.” (NAN) (

Edited by Vincent Obi


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