The Foundation Influential In Building Community Awareness In Africa

By BrandVoice Partner | Paid Program

Working closely with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Education, Information & Communication, Gender, Academia, Research Institutions, Media and Art, Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, is building healthcare capacity and addressing wide range of health and social challenges in Africa. Here are the many reasons why Africans consider Merck Foundation is the most influential in the continent. 

An influential African CEO is the driving force:

One of the main reasons is Merck Foundation CEO, an African woman, Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, who has been recognized as one of the Most Influential African (2019, 2020 and 2021) and is also a Senator at the Egyptian Senate.  

All this adds a great value to better understand the continent and it’s pressing issues of building healthcare capacity, empowering women in STEM, support girls’ education. 

Lovingly called ‘Mama Africa’, she is a strong crusader for transforming patient care in Africa with special talent as she is also a producer and director of various Merck Foundation contents including inspiring music videos, short movies and TV program to raise awareness about critical social and health topics in Africa. 

20 African First ladies are Merck Foundation Ambassadors: 

Merck Foundation in partnership with their Ambassadors, the First Ladies of Africa, are executing their impactful programs and initiatives across Africa.  

Together, Merck Foundation has supported the African communities during Coronavirus lockdown through donation and raising awareness. They also worked together to support girls’ education so that they can reach their potential and pursue their dreams through “Educating Linda” program by providing scholarships and school items for thousands of girls in 20 African countries. 

Making History and transforming patient care in Africa:

Merck Foundation programs have greatly contributed to building professional healthcare capacity through providing more than 1300 doctors from 45 countries with scholarships of one year, two year and three years diploma and master degree in more than 26 critical and underserved specialties. Merck Foundation is making history in many African countries by providing training to the first specializes doctors in these countries. 

“We are making history and legacy in Africa. The first Fertility specialists, Embryology, Oncologist, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Respiratory experts and more in many countries are trained by Merck Foundation. We have now widened our horizons by introducing more scholarships for young doctors in many new underserved specialties across Africa. I am so proud and want to invite all doctors to apply to our scholarships on our email to fill health gaps in their communities” Dr. Kelej emphasizing in all their social media pages. 

Addressing wide range of critical social and health topics:

The first and may be the only foundation to successfully engage young artists, young healthcare providers, singers, fashion designers, filmmakers, and musicians to work together to break the silence and create a culture shift by advocating social issues such as stopping Gender-based Violence, ending Child Marriage, ending Female Genital Mutilation, promoting girl education, women empowerment, supporting a healthy lifestyle, Covid 19 health precautions, preventing diabetes by early detection, on a regular basis. This is all possible because of their creative CEO, Dr. Rasha Kelej, as she is the brains behind all these innovative initiatives. 

Partnering with African Media and Artists for a Better World:

The CEO explained, “I strongly believe in the critical role that Media and Art play to be the voice of the voiceless and raise awareness about sensitive topics. Currently, we have trained over 2000 media representatives from over 30 countries to raise awareness, create culture shift, and break stigma surrounding infertility. Also, launched 6 awards for media, fashion, film and song. Each year, more than 200 winners receive these awards and welcomed as Merck Foundation Alumni to become part of our commitment. I’d like to invite all fashion designers, singers, filmmakers, media representatives, and young talents to apply for Merck Foundation Awards 2022 and become health and social champions to become the voice of the voiceless in their communities. Kindly share in entries through an email at”. 

First “Fashion and Art with Purpose” Community in Africa:

The community brings together fashion designers and new talents with the aim to raise awareness and sensitize communities about various social and health issues through their creations and work on daily basis.  

Sound Response to COVID 19 pandemic:

Merck Foundation raced to respond to COVID 19. Due to travel restrictions, it adopted the online medical education strategy through providing scholarships for specialty training. It started Coronavirus Response Program to improve healthcare capacity by providing online scholarships in Respiratory Medicine, Acute Medicine, Critical Care, Emergency and Resuscitation Medicine and Microbiology & Infectious Diseases for more than 150 doctors.  

“One of the most important initiatives is to continue healthcare capacity building, which has been our strategy since 2012, in partnership with African First Ladies and Ministries of Health, much before the pandemic struck worldwide. Through our online medical education strategy, we strongly continue the current capacity advancement programs through providing African medical postgraduates with one-year online diploma and two-year online master’s degree in many specialties. We are very proud to invite applications from African doctors for these scholarships on our mail:”, Dr. Kelej emphasized. 

Merck Foundation breaking the Silence:

• 20 African First Ladies as Ambassadors, 

• 9 Social Media Channels with more than 3 Million Followers, 

• More than 25 songs, 

• More than 2000 videos, 

• 10 children’s storybooks, 

• 6 different awards of best media coverage , fashion designs  , films  , songs  

• 1000s of girls from 15 African countries to be supported through scholarship or school items annually, 

• 2000 media persons to be trained to better raise awareness about different social and health issues. 

New millions of viewers through TV channels

Moreover, due to the high quality, impact and influence of Merck Foundation’s social media and awareness contents, five TV channels in four countries have provided Merck Foundation a weekly time slot so that their viewers in rural communities nationwide can benefit from their awareness materials as much as their social media followers do every day. 

“More than a Mother” a historic movement of Merck Foundation:

The Influence of the Merck Foundation can be seen in the Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” which is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-set. It supports countries in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe, effective and equitable fertility and reproductive care solutions. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for the first fertility specialists and embryologists in many countries in Africa .  

These facts alone speak volumes about Merck Foundation’s impact in raising community awareness in Africa, led by Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, one of the most influential Africans  

Learn more about Merck Foundation programs and long-term commitment to create a culture shift at and on their social media channels. 

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