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Merck Foundation, ARCS partner to build fertility care capacity, advocacy in Africa


As part of Merck Foundation More than a Mother campaign to build fertility and reproductive tube care capacity, build advocacy to break the stigma of infertility, and raise awareness about infertility prevention and male infertility in Africa, Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KgaA, has announced their partnership with Lagos-based Africa Reproductive Care Society (ARCS).

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Merck Foundation, Dr. Rasha Kelej, said: “We are very happy to partner with an important and inclusive Society like Africa Reproductive Care Society with the aim not to only provide scientific and clinics training to African doctors and embryologists but to also build advocacy to break the stigma of infertility and raise awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. We at Merck Foundation partnered with 20 African First Ladies, ministries of health, information, education, communication and genders, academia, media and art communities to achieve our goals to transform the landscape of fertility care in Africa, and we have achieved very important milestones. I believe with our new partnership with ARCS we will continue our efforts and address different aspects of this topic”.

President of ARCS, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, said: “I am very happy to partner with Merck Foundation. Merck Foundation has been creating awareness and building fertility care capacity in Africa. It is very critical to create awareness around infertility prevention and management as around 85 per cent of infertility cases in Africa are caused by untreated infectious diseases, hence are preventable in many cases. I also thank Merck Foundation CEO, Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej for her energy, inspiration, and innovations. Together will do well for Africa.”


“I invite all fertility care experts & embryologists, media experts, fashion designers who are our Merck Foundation Alumni to join this society. Also, I invite policymakers, community leaders and members, singers and filmmakers to apply for the membership which is free and inclusive for all Africa,” Senator Kelej added.

Merck Foundation first announced this partnership during their 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary on April 29, 2021 during the fertility and reproductive care session, where they provided scientific and medical training for more than 400 doctors from Africa and Asia; and, discussed challenges, strategies, and solutions to improve access to quality, equitable and regulated fertility care in Africa and Asia.

This partnership is part of the Merck Foundation More than a Mother initiative.

“Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe, effective and equitable fertility care solutions. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility.


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