Merck Foundation CEO shares the partnership journey with Ghana First Lady 2018 to 2023 -Train healthcare providers, support Girl Education and break infertility Stigma

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana
  • Merck Foundation CEO and Ghana First Lady met other 12 African First Ladies during 9th Edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2022 to discuss their strategy and announce their impact report and call for action to build healthcare capacity and empower women & girls in education in the country.
  • Merck Foundation is transforming the Patient care landscape in public sector with Ghana First Lady and other partners in Africa, Asia, and beyond. Watch the partnership journey:

Watch the overview of the 2-day Hybrid 9th Edition of the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2022 here: 

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, recently conducted their annual conference, the 9th Edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary”. The conference was inaugurated by Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Merck Foundation Board of Trustees, and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary, and H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” along with African First Ladies of Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Gambia, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Angola and Central Africa.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized, “Our long-term partnership with my dear sister, H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” started in 2018 and we have achieved a lot in a very short time since then.

We had a long meeting during 9th edition of our Luminary to discuss our joint programs and strategy and report its impact. Together we have transformed the patientcare landscape of Ghana by providing more than 125 scholarships to young Ghanian doctors in the fields of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory, Acute Medicine, Sexual and Reproductive medicine, Embryology, Respiratory, Critical care, Psychiatry, General Surgery, Dermatology, Emergency and Resuscitation Medicine, Gastroenterology, Neuroimaging for Research, Pain Management, Rheumatology, and Neonatal Medicine .,this a huge milestone and revolution in patient care across Ghana.”

H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” said, “I truly appreciate and value our partnership with Merck Foundation and I am proud of our achievements together.

As the Ambassador of “More Than a Mother”, I have been working closely with Merck Foundation to empower women in general and infertile women in specific, not only through creating a culture shift but by also making the fertility, sexual and reproductive care available for them and their husbands whenever they need it, nationwide through the graduates of fertility speciality, embryology training and sexual and reproductive care one year diploma and two year master degree. I am also happy that together we have been able to provide more than 125 scholarships of to our young Ghanian doctors in many fields that are very critical to our country which I consider a great milestone”.

Watch the video of The First Lady of Ghana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” during the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2022 here:

On day 2 of the Luminary, Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative- MFFLI committee meeting was also conducted between The First Ladies and Merck Foundation Chairman and CEO. During the MFFLI committee meeting, a reading session of Children’s storybooks created by Merck Foundation, ‘Jackline’s Rescue’ – to focus on the importance of Girl Education and highlight the immoral practices of society including child marriage & dowry system; and ‘A Ride Into The Future’ – to emphasize on the importance of empowering girls through education, was also held.

Watch the video of MFFLI committee meeting:

During the Luminary, a meeting between The First Lady of Ghana and Merck Foundation CEO, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej was also held to discuss the impact of on-going programs and define strategies to further build healthcare and media capacity in Ghana to improve patient care and raise awareness about wide range of social and health issues in the country.

Watch video of the meeting between Merck Foundation CEO, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej and Ghana First Lady, H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO:

Watch the video of Merck Foundation CEO, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej receiving H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana & Ambassador of Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother”:

Together with Ghana First Lady, Merck Foundation has provided 125 scholarships to local doctors in Ghana in many critical and underserved specialties.

  • Out of which 59 scholarships have been provided to doctors for Diabetes, Endocrinology, Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, Obesity and Weight Management courses, as a part of their Nationwide Diabetes Blue Points Program.
  • Moreover, 6 scholarships have been provided for the Oncology Fellowship and Master Program.
  • Merck Foundation has also provided 30 scholarships for Fertility Embryology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine and Women’s Health. This is a huge number that will advance women’s health in the country.
  • 30 more scholarships have been provided for various critical and underserved specialties like Acute Medicine, Respiratory, Critical care, Dermatology, Psychiatry, Gastroenterology, Pain Management and many more.

“Our vision is that everyone can lead healthy and happy life. For 10 years this has been true in our mission to build healthcare capacity, transform patient care landscape, break infertility stigma, empower women, and support girl education. Through our partnership with First Lady of Ghana, we can impact the lives of people in the most disadvantaged communities in Ghana and beyond, leading them to a better future”, said Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Merck Foundation also announced the Call for applications for their 8 important awards in partnership with The First Lady of Ghana for Media, Musicians, Fashion Designers, Filmmakers, students, and new potential talents in these fields.

Moreover, in partnership with The First Lady of Ghana, Merck Foundation has also launched seven children’s storybooks, “Kofi’s story”, ‘Educating Aku”, “Make the Right Choice”, “Jackline’s Rescue”, “Not Who You Are”, “Ride into the Future” and “Sugar free Jude”. 30,000 copies of the storybooks have been distributed to school students of Ghana; 20,000 more copies will also be distributed soon. The storybooks address various social and health issues like breaking infertility stigma, supporting girl education, coronavirus awareness, stopping GBV and diabetes awareness.

English | French | Portuguese

English | French | Portuguese

English | French | Portuguese

English | French | Portuguese

English | French | Portuguese 

English | French | Portuguese

English | French | Portuguese

Merck Foundation in partnership with Ghana First Lady had also conducted their online Health Media Training to emphasize on the critical role of media to create a culture shift, to break the silence, and be the voice of the voiceless to raise awareness on sensitive social and health issues. This important training session was attended by many of over 100 Ghanaian journalists.

The 9th Edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2022 was streamed live on the social media handles of Merck Foundationand Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Link to the Facebook live steam of Inaugural Session of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary & African First Ladies High Level Panel:

Merck Foundation is transforming the Patient care landscape and making history together with its partners in Africa, Asia, and beyond, through:

  • 1580 + Scholarships provided by Merck Foundation for doctors from 50 Countries in 39 critical and underserved medical specialties.  

Merck Foundation is also creating a culture shift and breaking the silence about a wide range of social and health issues in Africa and underserved communities through:

  • 2200 + Media Persons from more than 50 countries trained to better raise Awareness about different social and health issues
  • 8 Different Awards Launched annually for best media coverage, fashion designers, films, and songs
  • Around 30 songs to address health and social issues by local singers across Africa
  •  8 Children’s Storybooks in three languages – English, French, and Portuguese
  • Pan African TV Program “Our Africa by Merck Foundation” addressing Social and Health Issues in Africa through “Fashion and ART with Purpose” Community
  • 1000+ Girls from 15 African countries supported through scholarships or school items, annually.
  • 9 Social Media Channels with more than 5 Million Followers.

Click on the icon below to
Download Merck Foundation App

Join the conversation on our social media platforms below and let your voice be heard

 Merck Foundation

 Merck Foundation

 Merck Foundation


 Merck Foundation

About Merck Foundation

The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website.  Please visit to read more. Follow the social media of Merck Foundation: FacebookTwitter, InstagramYouTube and Flicker.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *