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Merck Foundation, First Lady organise ‘first Health Media Training’ in new partnership

Dr. Rasha Kelej (R), CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother with H.E. Denise Nkurunziza, the First Lady of Burundi and Ambassador, Merck More Than a Mother arriving for the Health Media Training in Bujumbura. (PHOTO/AGENCY)

BUJUMBURA, Burundi – Merck Foundation in partnership with H.E. Denise Nkurunziza, The First Lady of Burundi and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother together with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Communication and Media on March 20, 2019 organised ‘their first Health Media Training’ in Bujumbura, Burundi to break the stigma around infertility in Burundi and rest of Africa.

The training program was a part of ‘Merck More than a Mother’ community awareness Program and was organized for the first time in Burundi for local media representatives.

“I am delighted to initiate this important training session as I strongly believe that media plays a significant role to influence our society to create a cultural shift. It has the capacity and ability to break the stigma around infertility in the community,” explained Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More than a Mother.

Dr. Rasha Kelej addressing the journalists during the Health Media Training. (PHOTO/AGENCY)

The training was addressed by the First Lady of Burundi and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than a Mother and Hon. Frederic Nahimana, Minister of Communication and Media, Burundi.

It will also provide a great opportunity for the journalists to meet the experts and also to network with each other and work as a unit to eradicate the stigma around infertility in Burundi and rest of Africa. It was attended by journalists working for Print, TV, Radio and Online media.

“The Merck Health Media Training program will focus on the international standards and media ethics for reporting sensitive issues like infertility in Africa. It was designed to benefit the journalists in understanding the infertility issues in African communities and to learn the best media practices to cover such issues.” explained the First Lady.

Merck Foundation also announced Call for Application for “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ for Burundi and rest of Africa. The “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ were launched in 2017 with the aim to emphasize the role of media in enhancing the public engagement and understanding of infertility stigma and the need to change its social perception in African communities.

Ms. Denise addressing the journalists during the Health Media Training. (PHOTO/AGENCY)

The applications are invited by media professionals to showcase their work to raise awareness about infertility prevention and breaking infertility stigma in Burundi and rest of Africa.

Who can apply?

Journalists from print, online, radio and multimedia platforms from Burundi and rest of Africa not later than 30th June 2019.

How to apply?

Entries can be submitted via email to  mystory@merckmorethanamother.com

In 2017, the Foundation conducted a ceremony to announce the winners of the ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Media Recognition Awards in Nairobi, Kenya. The ceremony was attended by over 200 journalists from 17 African countries.

About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign;

“Merck More Than a Mother” initiative aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and health and by changing mind-sets. This powerful initiative supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe and effective fertility care. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention and management. In partnership with academia, ministries of health and international fertility societies, the initiative also provides medical education and training for healthcare providers and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

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