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Merck Foundation to hold first “Merck Health Media Training” to Break the Stigma around Infertility in Africa



Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany has announced that it’ll be starting its first Merck Health Media Training on 10th of July 2018 from 10:00 to 17:30 at Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi.

The training program 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 program, Merck Foundation says it 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.

“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”, explained Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck more than a Mother.

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

Dr. Rasha 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,” Kelej said.

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. The award ceremony will be attended by eminent media personalities, fertility experts, infertile women, award winners and other distinguished media people from across Africa.

“The Merck Health training program will focus on the international standards and media ethics for reporting sensitive issues like infertility in Africa. It is designed to benefit the journalists in understanding the infertility issues in African communities and to learn the best media practices to cover such issues. We look forward to scaling this program to Francophone African countries and Asian counties in 2018” Dr. Rasha Kelej added.

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.

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