Merck Foundation and 13 African First Ladies meet to Strengthen Healthcare to control COVID 19

(Eds: Disclaimer: The following press release comes to you under an arrangement with Business Wire India. PTI takes no editorial responsibility for the same.) Mumbai, Maharashtra, India & Cape Town, South Africa – Business Wire India Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany conducted their first Video Conference Summit of Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI) on 31st August 2020 to define and follow up on different joint programs that aims to advance public healthcare sector capacity and strengthen the response to COVID 19 in their countries. The MFFLI VC Summit 2020 was hosted by Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E. Merck KG and the Chairman of Merck Foundation Board of Trustees and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother and One of 100 Most Influential African (2019 & 2020) and attended by 13 African First Ladies, who are Ambassadors of Merck More than a Mother; H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe; H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia; H.E. FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone; H.E. AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU, The First Lady of Niger; H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia; H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique; H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi; H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana; H. E. FATOUMATTA BAHBARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia; H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic; H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi; H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana; H.E. ANA DIAS LOURENÇO, The First Lady of Angola. Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E. Merck KG and the Chairman of Merck Foundation Board of Trustees emphasized, “The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been greater than many expected across the globe. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of investing in improving access to equitable and quality healthcare which is Merck Foundation”s strategy since 2012, even before the pandemic started.” Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation explained, “I am very proud of our valuable partnership with the African First ladies as ‘Merck more than a Mother Ambassadors’. We have always believed in the importance of building healthcare capacity through providing training to healthcare providers in many medical specialties. This has been our strategy since we started in 2012 in partnership with African First Ladies and Ministries of Health, much before the pandemic started. As a response to COVID 19 pandemic, we adopted online medical education strategy through providing more than 350 African doctors with one-year online diploma and two-year online master degree in many specialties such as: Respiratory Medicines and Acute medicines, Diabetes, Cardiology, Endocrinology, and Sexual and Reproductive Medicines. This is in addition to more than 500 African and Asian doctors who benefited from our original clinical training programs in Diabetes & Cardiovascular, Oncology, Fertility specialists, and embryology in India, Egypt, Kenya and Malaysia which will resume after the lockdown ends.” The MFFLI VC Summit, special edition aims to share experiences, discuss challenges, and define solutions to further strengthen healthcare capacity to better respond to this global pandemic in Africa. The African First Ladies shared the experiences of working closely with Merck Foundation in their respective countries with special focus on the programs to build healthcare capacity and the response to COVID -19. H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “I am very happy to see Merck Foundation’s strong commitment to advance the public healthcare sector across Africa. This is very critical to Zimbabwe, in the light of current pressure on our healthcare sector. More than 117 local doctors are enrolled in these training programs which will transform our healthcare sector.” H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, First Lady of Zambia & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “We are proud of our partnership with Merck Foundation, which started in 2019. In a very short period, we have been able to reshape the healthcare landscape of Zambia by providing our doctors and nurses with specialty training in the fields of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory, Acute medicines, Sexual and Reproductive medicines, Fertility and Embryology. All of these fields are very critical and were lacking in our country. This will contribute to our battle against coronavirus and other diseases.” H.E. FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother expressed, “I am extremely elated with our partnership with Merck Foundation, as together, we are making history in Sierra Leone by providing training for the First Oncologists in the country to establish the first skilled cancer care team. Also, our doctors are being trained in the fields of diabetes and fertility care. We will scale up the program to more fields together with Merck Foundation very soon.” H.E. AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU, The First Lady of Niger & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “I am happy to be part of this prestigious platform. Since the Merck Foundation launch in 2017, together we have made a significant impact on our healthcare sector, through establishing a strong platform of Health experts in very critical fields such as; Diabetes, Oncology and Fertility care in Niger.” H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother said, “I am very happy to see that Merck Foundation is strongly committed to advancing the public healthcare sector across Africa. This is very critical to our countries in light of the current medical and public concerns. This is very important for Namibia as we have a very limited number of local specialists in the public sector, we are very happy to enroll 21 Namibian doctors in online diplomas in many fields, including 8 in sexual and reproductive medicines which is very important for women health.” H.E. Dr. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother explained, “Together with Merck Foundation, I am fully committed to will work closely to introduce innovative ideas that will engage different sectors to create a culture shift with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and make a great impact in a short time.” H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother said, “I am looking forward to starting our important long term partnership with Merck Foundation. I am willing to capitalize on the valuable programs of Merck Foundation, by scaling them up nationwide to contribute to the social and economic development of Malawi.” H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother elaborated, “We launched the innovative programs of Merck Foundation at the beginning of 2019, to build healthcare capacity and break the infertility stigma. To share with you that since then and in a very short time we have been able to provide and enroll many of our healthcare providers with specialty training in the fields of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory, Acute medicines, Sexual and Reproductive medicines, Fertility specialists and Embryology training.” H.E. FATOUMATTA BAHBARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother said, “I am delighted to share the magnificent outcomes of my long term partnership with Merck Foundation. Together we have been able to empower infertile women through access to information, education, health, and change of mindset. Also, we have enrolled 25 Gambian doctors in One-year online diploma and one-year master degree in many medical specialties.” H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “I am very proud to work closely with Merck Foundation to advance healthcare sector and empower infertile women in my country. We also initiated in my country, an important project “Empowering Berna“ where we established small businesses for infertile women and train them to run their businesses so they can have income and become independent. Their lives have been transformed since then.” H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother expressed, “I am very happy to be appointed the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother last week. I am excited about the work that has been done in my country so far and looking forward to taking this partnership to new heights.” H.E. NEO JANE MASISI The First Lady of Botswana & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother highlighted, “Merck Foundation’s strategy of building healthcare capacity is more relevant now than ever. More than 34 doctors were enrolled to different specialties, I will closely work with Merck Foundation and our Ministry of Health to ensure the success of this program to be able to improve our people’s health and wellbeing.” H.E. ANA DIAS LOURENÇO, The First Lady of Angola expressed, “I am very proud and happy to be a part of MFFLI VC Summit and look forward to a long-term partnership with Merck Foundation. We will closely work together on all their initiatives to build healthcare capacity and empower girls in education.” About Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative Summit – MFFLI MFFLI is a Merck Foundation platform of African First Ladies and “Merck More Than a Mother” Ambassadors established with the aim to discuss challenges, define solutions, measure impact and share experience to ensure continuous improvement and exchange variable aspects of different cultures in order to localize and/or standardize specific messages that can raise awareness and create a culture shift across Africa with regards to the below objectives: • Breaking the Stigma around infertile couples in general and infertile women in particular. • Empowering Girls and Women in Education in general and in STEM in particular. • Improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions. To View the Image Click on the Link Below: Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative – VC Summit 2020 PWR PWR

DIPLOMACY AND DEVELOPMENT- Merck Foundation’s first Online Summit with African First Ladies

Merck Foundation’s first Online Summit with African First Ladies

Merck Foundation’s first Online Summit with African First Ladies to strengthen healthcare capacity and joint response to COVID 19 Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany conducted their first Video Conference Summit of Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI) on 31st August 2020 to define and follow up on different joint programs that aims to advance public healthcare sector capacity and strengthen the response to COVID 19 in their countries. 

The MFFLI VC Summit 2020 was hosted by Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E. Merck KG and the Chairman of Merck Foundation Board of Trustees and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother and One of 100 Most Influential African (2019 & 2020) and attended by 13 African First Ladies, who are Ambassadors of Merck.

More than a Mother; H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe; H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia; H.E. FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone; H.E. AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU, The First Lady of Niger; H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia; H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique; H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi; H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana; H. E. FATOUMATTA BAHBARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia; H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic; H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi; H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana; H.E. ANA DIAS LOURENÇO, The First Lady of Angola.

Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E. Merck KG and the Chairman of Merck Foundation Board of Trustees emphasized, “The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been greater than many expected across the globe. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of investing in improving access to equitable and quality healthcare which is Merck foundation’s strategy since 2012, even before the pandemic started.” 

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation explained, “I am very proud of our valuable partnership with the African First ladies as ‘Merck more than a Mother Ambassadors’. 
We have always believed in the importance of building healthcare capacity through providing training to healthcare providers in many medical specialties. This has been our strategy since we stared in 2012 in partnership with African First Ladies and Ministries of Health, much before 
the pandemic started”.

Dr. Rasha added “As a response to COVID 19 pandemic , we adopted online medical education strategy through providing more than 350 African doctors with one-year online diploma and two-year online master degree in many specialties such as: Respiratory Medicines and Acute medicines, Diabetes, Cardiology, Endocrinology, and Sexual and Reproductive Medicines. This is in addition to more than 500 African and Asian doctors who benefited from our original clinical training programs in Diabetes & Cardiovascular, Oncology, Fertility specialists, and embryology in India, Egypt, Kenya and Malaysia which will resume after the lockdown ends”. 

The MFFLI VC Summit, special edition aims to share experiences, discuss challenges, and define solutions to further strengthen healthcare capacity to better respond to this global pandemic in Africa. The African First Ladies shared the experiences of working closely with Merck Foundation in their respective countries with special focus on the programs to build healthcare capacity and the response to COVID -19. 

H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “I am very happy to see Merck Foundation’s strong commitment to advance the public healthcare sector across Africa. This is very critical to Zimbabwe, in the light of current pressure on our healthcare sector. More than 117 local doctors are enrolled in these training programs which will transform our healthcare sector”.

H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, First Lady of Zambia & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “We are proud of our partnership with Merck Foundation, which started in 2019. In a very short period, we have been able to reshape the healthcare landscape of Zambia by providing our doctors and nurses with specialty training in the fields of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory, Acute medicines, Sexual and Reproductive 
medicines, Fertility and Embryology. All of these fields are very critical and were lacking in our country. This will contribute to our battle against coronavirus and other diseases”. 

H.E. FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother expressed, “I am extremely elated with our partnership with Merck Foundation, as together, we are making history in Sierra Leone by providing training for the First Oncologists in the country to establish the first skilled cancer care team. Also, our doctors are being trained in the fields of diabetes and fertility care. We will scale up the program to more fields together with Merck Foundation very soon”. 

H.E. AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU, The First Lady of Niger & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “I am happy to be part of this prestigious platform. 
Since the Merck Foundation launch in 2017, together we have made a significant impact on our healthcare sector, through establishing a strong platform of Health experts in very critical fields such as; Diabetes, Oncology and Fertility care in Niger”.

H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother said, “I am very happy to see that Merck Foundation is strongly committed to advancing the public healthcare sector across Africa. This is very critical to our countries in light of the current medical and public concerns. This is very important for Namibia as we have a very limited number of local specialists in the public sector, we are very happy to enroll 21 Namibian doctors in online diplomas in many fields, including 8 in sexual and reproductive medicines which is very important for women health”.

H.E. Dr. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother explained, “Together with Merck Foundation, I am fully committed to will work closely to introduce innovative ideas that will engage different sectors to create a culture shift with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and make a great impact in a short time.”

H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother said, “I am looking forward to starting our important long term partnership with Merck Foundation. I am willing to capitalize on the valuable programs of Merck Foundation, by scaling them up nationwide to contribute to the social and economic development of Malawi”.

H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother elaborated, “We launched the innovative programs of Merck Foundation at the beginning of 2019, to build healthcare capacity and break the infertility stigma. To share 
with you that since then and in a very short time we have been able to provide and enroll many of our healthcare providers with specialty training in the fields of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory, Acute medicines, Sexual and Reproductive medicines, Fertility specialists and Embryology training”.

H.E. FATOUMATTA BAHBARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother said, “I am delighted to share the magnificent outcomes of my long term partnership with Merck Foundation. Together we have been able to empower infertile women through access to information, education, health, and change of mindset. Also, we have enrolled 25 Gambian doctors in One-year online diploma and one-year master degree in many medical specialties”.

H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “I am very proud to work closely with Merck Foundation to advance healthcare sector and empower infertile women in my country. We also initiated in my country, an important project “Empowering Berna“ where we established small businesses for infertile women and train them to run their businesses so they can have income and become independent. Their lives have been transformed since then”.

H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother expressed, “I am very happy to be appointed the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother last week. I am excited about the work that has been done in my country so far and looking forward to taking this partnership to new heights”. 

H.E. NEO JANE MASISI The First Lady of Botswana & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother highlighted, “Merck Foundation’s strategy of building healthcare capacity is more relevant now than ever. More than 34 doctors were enrolled to different specialties, I will closely work with Merck Foundation and our Ministry of Health to ensure the success of this program to be able to improve our people’s health and wellbeing”.

H.E. ANA DIAS LOURENÇO, The First Lady of Angola expressed, “I am very proud and happy to be a part of MFFLI VC Summit and look forward to a long-term partnership with Merck Foundation. We will closely work together on all their initiatives to build healthcare capacity and empower girls in education”.

It should be noted that Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative Summit “MFFLI” is a Merck Foundation platform of African First Ladies and “Merck More Than a Mother” Ambassadors established with the aim to discuss challenges, define solutions, measure impact and share experience to ensure continuous improvement and exchange variable aspects of different cultures in order to localize and/or standardize specific messages that can raise awareness and create a culture shift across Africa with regards to the below objectives:

• Breaking the Stigma around infertile couples in general and infertile women in particular.
• Empowering Girls and Women in Education in general and in STEM in particular.
• Improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions.

Cassien Tribunal Aungane, Editor

Kenyan Farmers Struggle with Locust Crop Damage

https://www.africanews.com/embed/1191062

A Locust Desert Storm

The Horn of Africa, battling an unprecedented proliferation of locust crop pests for months, is facing an exacerbated food shortage threat – with crops of farmers in Turkana county, Kenya, decimated by an infestation of desert locusts. The unwelcome presence of the desert locusts is severely impacting their livelihood.

A farmer in Kalemng’orok, Lochom Ekiru, is devastated, “I am desperate, I was expecting a harvest to feed my family and take the children to school. Look at how my crops have been destroyed. Everything is gone now.”

Fellow farmer, Joseph Tirkwel, echoes a similar sentiment of distress, “If the locusts had come later when the crops were ready at least I could have harvested some food for my family. That would have been more bearable. Now I don’t know what to do.”

A large control operation to address the situation has been launched by The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations ( FAO) with some success.

Despite the very real crisis, Tobias Takavarasha, the FAO representative in the region, remains optimistic, “I was happy to talk to the farmer, he said he will not give up. He is a farmer, he is a soldier. He needs more equipment, he needs more support for him to continue with the war to fight against hunger.”

Continued Action

Hundreds of National Youth Service (NYS) volunteers have been trained in surveillance, verification and control techniques by the FAO As part of the Kenyan government’s action plan, with estimated reports of over 600,000 hectares already contained against infestation.

Much of the infestation has already been successfully contained

New sightings of immature swarms in northwest Kenya were reported by the FAO, as of mid-August.

Cool temperatures coupled with local winds have curbed the northwards migration ability of the locusts’ ability to migrate northwards, leads the organisation to expect that the locusts will remain in the area until October – with the added concern of a possible resurgence of the desert locusts towards the end of the year.

Merck Foundation Marks World Embryologists Day Through Their ‘More Than a Mother’ Campaign to Build Fertility Care Capacity in Africa and Asia

Kigali, Rwanda & Mumbai, Maharashtra, India: 

  • Merck Foundation provides long term hands-on Embryology training to develop local Embryologists across Africa and Asia. 
  • Merck Foundation makes history by training the first African Embryologists and Fertility Experts in many countries such as; The Gambia, Burundi, Guinea, Chad, Niger, Sierra Leone and Liberia. 

​Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany marks ‘World Embryologists Day 2020’ through providing long term hands-on embryology training to develop local Embryologists to improve access to quality and cost-effective fertility care in Africa and Asia, this is as part of Merck More than a Mother campaign.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation, President of Merck More than a Mother and One of 100 Most Influential Africans (2019) emphasized, “I strongly believe in the critical role of Embryologists to empower infertile women through improving their access to information, change of mindset and quality & equitable fertility care. I am very proud that as part of ‘Merck More Than A Mother’ campaign in partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Academia and Fertility Societies, we were able to provide hands on long term embryology training  to develop more than 82 local Embryologists from 27 countries, many of them were trained to be the first local embryologists in many countries where they never had local embryologists or fertility specialists before such as; The Gambia, Burundi, Guinea, Niger, Chad, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Liberia. Together with you, Merck Foundation Alumni and our partners, we are making history and reshaping the landscape of fertility care.”

African First Ladies of 18 Countries are working closely with Merck Foundation as Ambassadors of Merck more than a Mother including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Niger, Namibia, Mozambique, Liberia, Guinea Conakry, The Gambia, DR Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Chad, CAR, Botswana and Burundi (former First Lady) and Malawi (Former First Lady). “The African First Ladies have partnered with Merck Foundation to lead and execute many initiatives in their respective countries as Merck More Than a Mother Ambassadors to empower infertile women and break the stigma around infertility. This speaks volume about the work we are doing” added Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Merck Foundation has trained more than 82 Embryologists in addition to over 100 Fertility Specialists from 35 countries which are: Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, CAR, Cote D’IVOIRE, DRC, Congo Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malaysia, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Niger, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, The Gambia, Togo, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe.

Merck hands-on Embryology and Fertility specialists Training program is an ongoing initiative and Merck Foundation will continue to train more doctors and embryologist in more African, Asian and developing countries.

About Merck Fertility & Embryology Training Program

Merck Fertility specialists & Embryology Training Program was launched in 2016 as part of Merck More Than a Mother in partnership with African First Ladies and ministries of health. Under this program, Merck Foundation has been providing hands-on practical training to candidates from Africa and Asia, in partnership with many training institutes such as; the Indonesian Reproductive Science Institute (IRSI), Indonesia; International Institute for Training and Research in Reproductive Health (IIRRH), India; Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), India and Indira IVF Hospitals, India.

About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign

“Merck 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. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

With “Merck More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility at all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.

Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as; 

  • ‘Merck More than a Mother’ Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training
  • ‘Merck More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards
  • ‘Merck More than a Mother’ Film Awards
  • Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
  • Children storybook, localized for each country

Download the Merck Foundation App now

Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.merck.foundation.googleplay
App Store – https://apps.apple.com/no/app/merck-foundation/id1297299793

Join the conversation on our social media platforms below and let your voice be heard

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Website: www.merck-foundation.com

South Africa’s COVID-19 death toll exceeds 10,000

A medical worker wearing a protective suit treats COVID-19 patients at an isolation ward in a hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, July 10, 2020. (Photo by Yeshiel/Xinhua)

South Africa’s COVID-19 death toll crossed the 10,000 mark, with 10,210 cumulative deaths recorded, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Saturday.

Of the total deaths, 301 were recorded in the past 24 hours, Mkhize said in his daily update.

Meanwhile, the country has reported a cumulative total of 553,188 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 7,712 cases reported since Friday, the minister said.

Gauteng Province, the country’s economic hub, remains as the epicenter with 190,999 cases, followed by the Western Cape with 99,588 cases, KwaZulu-Natal with 95,648 cases and the Eastern Cape with 82,074 cases.

The number of recoveries currently stands at 404,568, a recovery rate of 73 percent, according to Mkhize.

The total number of tests conducted to date is 3,220,265 with 36,607 new tests conducted since Friday, he said.

South Africa has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among African countries, which has surpassed half of the cases recorded in the African continent.

Across the world, South Africa ranks the fifth in terms of confirmed COVID-19 cases, after the United States, Brazil, India and Russia.

Spread the love

Une chanson pour rendre hommage aux agents de santé qui se sont reconstitués en une armée dans la lutte contre la Covid19.

Une armée Blanche qui s’exécute pour le bien être commun.

Cette chanson exprimé également l’esprit de solidarité et la vision panafricaniste des chanteurs de plus de 11 pays Africains.

Merci à Docteur RASHA KELEJ PDG de la fondation MERCK .

Egypt confirms 931 new COVID-19 infections, 83,001 in total

Egypt confirmed on Monday 931 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of cases in the country since mid-February to 83,001, said the health ministry.

It is the fifth consecutive day for the country’s daily COVID-19 infections to be below 1,000 since May 28.

Meanwhile, 77 patients died from the virus, bringing the death toll 3,935, while 556 others were cured and discharged from hospitals, increasing the total recoveries to 24,975, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

Egypt announced its first confirmed COVID-19 case on Feb. 14 and the first death from the highly infectious virus on March 8.

The country resumed international flights on July 1 after more than three months of suspension, amid a “coexistence plan” to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming economic activities.

The government has recently lifted a partial nighttime curfew it imposed over the past three months, and reopened restaurants, cafes, theaters and cinemas, as well as hotels, museums and archaeological sites for tourists, all with limited capacity.

Egypt and China have been cooperating closely in fighting the pandemic through exchanging medical aid and expertise.

In early February, Egypt provided aid to China to help with its fight against COVID-19 and China later returned favor by sending three batches of medical aid to the North African country.

“So far, Chinese medical experts have held eight video conferences with Egyptian counterparts over COVID-19,” Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang said earlier this month.

On July 5, Liao delivered a batch of anti-coronavirus medical aid sent by the Chinese government to the Cairo-based Arab League.

AfDB partners on the agro-industry [Business Africa]

The African Development Bank AFDB in Nigeria recently met a private sector consortium from China to help attract investment

Discussions centered on Chinese direct investments and partnerships with Nigerian agribusinesses as well as ventures with Nigerian state governments and agribusinesses in the development of agro-Industrial parks.

The special special agro-Industrial processing zones could radically transform Africa’s agriculture and put an end to food insecurity.

Nyasha K Mutizwa speaks to the senior special adviser on industrialisation to the African Development Bank’s President, Professor Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka to understand more.

Africa COVID-19 stats: 578,307 cases; 12,989 deaths; 284,972 recoveries

By Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban

There are now more than over 550,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the continent, with a number of African countries imposing a range of prevention and containment measures against the spread of the pandemic.

According to the latest data by the John Hopkins University and Africa Center for Disease Control on COVID-19 in Africa, the breakdown remains fluid as countries confirm cases as and when. As of May 13, every African country had recorded an infection, the last being Lesotho.

We shall keep updating this list largely sourced from the John Hopkins University tallies, Africa CDC and from official government data.

SUGGESTED READING: Africa’s COVID-19 deaths pass 100,000 mark

Major African stats: July 12 at 7:00 GMT:

  • Confirmed cases = 578,307
  • Active cases = 280,346
  • Recoveries = 284,972
  • Number of deaths = 12,989

Countries in alphabetical order

  • Algeria – 18,712
  • Angola – 462
  • Benin – 1,378
  • Botswana – 314
  • Burkina Faso – 1,033
  • Burundi – 191
  • Cameroon – 15,173
  • Cape Verde – 1,623
  • Central African Republic – 4,288
  • Chad – 874
  • Comoros – 317
  • Congo-Brazzaville – 2,028
  • DR Congo – 7,971
  • Djibouti – 4,968
  • Egypt – 81,158
  • Equatorial Guinea – 3,071
  • Eritrea – 232
  • Eswatini – 1,311
  • Ethiopia – 7,402
  • Gabon – 5,942
  • (The) Gambia – 64
  • Ghana – 24,248
  • Guinea – 6,044
  • Guinea-Bissau – 1,842
  • Ivory Coast – 12,443
  • Kenya – 9,726
  • Lesotho – 184
  • Liberia – 998
  • Libya – 1,389
  • Madagascar – 4,578
  • Malawi – 2,261
  • Mali – 2,406
  • Mauritania – 5,275
  • Mauritius – 342
  • Morocco – 15,542
  • Mozambique – 1,135
  • Namibia – 668
  • Niger – 1,099
  • Nigeria- 31,987
  • Rwanda – 1,299
  • Sao Tome and Principe – 727
  • Senegal – 8,014
  • Seychelles – 100
  • Sierra Leone – 1,618
  • Somalia – 3,051
  • South Africa – 264,184
  • South Sudan – 2,021
  • Sudan – 10,250
  • Tanzania – 509
  • Togo – 710
  • Tunisia – 1,245
  • Uganda – 1,013
  • Zambia – 1,895
  • Zimbabwe – 982

Nigeria Resumes Domestic Flights Amid Pandemic

A family is seen in a  queue at the domestic wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on its re-opening day for domestic flight operations, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Abuja

A family is seen in a line at the domestic wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on its reopening day for domestic flight operations, following the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Abuja, Nigeria, July 8, 2020.


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Officials in Nigeria say domestic flights are now available for the first time since restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus began.

Airports in the capital, Abuja, and its largest city, Lagos, reopened for flights Wednesday, with more airports resuming operations within a week.

No date has been announced for international flights to resume.

The resumption of domestic flights to lift Africa’s largest economy comes with some new protocols, including passengers getting their temperature checked and maintaining social distancing.

Traveler Daniel Ogbolem welcomed the new safety measures put in place.  “The protocol is nice,” he said. “First of all you come, they will sanitize your luggage, you’ll wash your hands, you’ll go and clean up and join the queue, so it’s good.” He added, “the safe distance is cool, wearing of nose masks and everything is good.”

Nigerian airport official Henrietta Yakubu is appealing to the public to follow the new protocols and procedures, saying the government is not trying to punish travelers or extend their time at the airport, but only to provide a safe environment.

Nigeria has gradually relaxed restrictions in recent weeks, including allowing interstate travel.

So far, Nigeria has confirmed more than 30,000 COVID-19 cases and 684 deaths.