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Merck Foundation plans first media training to break stigma around infertility in Africa


Infertility in women

As part of efforts to break the stigma associated with infertility in Africa, Merck Foundation (, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany plans to train top science and health journalists from 15 Africa countries on infertility and Associated Reproductive Techniques (ART) including In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

The journalists from various African countries like Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Gambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Ethiopia, Botswana, Liberia, Cameroon, Sierra Leona, etc. will be participating in the training.

The event tagged first Merck Health Media Training begins on July 10, 2018 at Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi.


The Foundation, in a statement, said the training programme is part of “Merck more than a Mother” community awareness initiative. It is being organized to emphasize the important role that media plays to influence our society to create a cultural shift with the aim to break the stigma around infertility in general and Infertile women in particular.

During the training programme, Merck Foundation will announce the start of new hashtags #MenToo and #NotoInfertilityStigma to invite media from all over Africa to share its opinions and stories on social media about the topic.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Merck Foundation and President of Merck more than a Mother, Dr. Rasha Kelej, said: “I am very happy to initiate this important training session and the two hashtags on the social media platform, inviting all media representatives to share it on their platforms.

#MenToo can be the cause of infertility #MenToo can suffer the infertility stigma and social pressure. #NoToInfertilityStigma for women and #Mentoo is the key message we wish to deliver.”

Merck Health Media Training Programme is planned to follow the Merck more than a Mother Media Recognition Awards Ceremony, which will be held on the July 9, to recognize the winners from Kenya and East Africa.

Kelej further explained the reason of creating this award: “We announced the ‘Merck More than a Mother Media Recognition Awards’ 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.”

Through the award ceremony, Merck Foundation will honor the winners of “Merck More Than a Mother” Media Recognition Award 2017, for their outstanding journalistic coverage to break the stigma around infertility in African communities.

Eminent media personalities, fertility experts, infertile women will attend the award ceremony, award winners and other distinguished media people from across Africa.

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