Merck Foundation has appointed Malawi's First Lady Monica Chakwera as its ambassador for 'Merck More Than a Mother' campaign which seeks to empower infertile women.
She replaces former First Lady Gertrude Mutharika who was bestowed the role in mid 2019.
Merck Foundation in partnership with Chakwera and the Minister of Health will work to provide speciality training to Malawian doctors in various fields such as; Oncology, Diabetes, Fertility, Embryology, Respiratory Care, Acute Medicines, Sexual and Reproductive Medicines to transform public healthcare sector in Malawi.
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany announced their long-term partnership with The First Lady of Malawi, during their first Video Conference Summit of Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI).
The Summit was attended by 13 African First Ladies to discuss their joint efforts to build healthcare capacity and strengthen the response to COVID-19 in the country and Africa at large.
Appreciating the programmes of Merck Foundation, Chakwera said: “I am very happy to be appointed as Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother. I will be fully supporting this campaign as this cause is very close to my heart.
"I will work in collaboration with our ministries to sensitise our communities, particularly in rural areas to better understand infertility hence to break the stigma around infertile women and to empower them through access to information, education, health, and change of mindset.
"Moreover, I am looking forward to building healthcare capacity in the country, through the programs of Merck Foundation, as it will contribute to the social and economic development of Malawi”.
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of 'Merck More Than a Mother' said, “We are very happy to partner with The First Lady of Malawi, and underscore our long term commitment to build healthcare capacity, empower girls in education and break the stigma of infertility in Malawi.
"We are also very proud to appoint The First Lady of Malawi as the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother. We are going to work very closely with her and the Government of Malawi to make history together by providing training for the First Specialists in many fields".
Merck Foundation will enroll selected Malawian doctors by the First Lady's office and Ministry of Health to their various training programme for the next 10 years