Official launch of the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary in Zambia: A fruitful exchange platform for the benefit of better collaboration with the countries of Africa and Asia


This 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminaire coincides with the 4th anniversary of this philanthropic arm of MERCK and the honor goes to the Republic of Zambia to host the festivities.

However, participants have to be content with the use of new technologies to converge around a Visio conference because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Note that the opening ceremony of the activities falling within the framework of this 8th edition was conducted by the President of the Merck Foundation and the First Lady of Zambia under the sponsorship of His Excellency the President of the host country, Mr. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU.

We also note the participation of Thirteen First Ladies from African countries, health experts and several media figures.

At the start of her remarks, Merck Foundation CEO Doctor Senator Rasha Kelej said she is very proud to work with first ladies, health experts and the media in realizing the vision of ‘a world where everyone can aspire to a healthy and fulfilling life.

Also, she wished to thank the Chairman of the Board of Directors of E. Merck KG, Professor Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp who has always been available when it comes to giving valuable advice and support for the benefit of strategy and programs. of the Merck Foundation.

This has created a significant impact in underserved communities around the world and especially during the coronavirus pandemic, she added.

“Today, due to the global covid-19 pandemic, we were unable to conduct

This Merck Foundation conference in Zambia as scheduled, therefore, we are happy to conduct it online as a videoconference, where over 32,000 participants from

More than 70 countries can meet and discuss strategies and solutions for health,

Thus contribute to improving access to quality equitable health care and the strengthening of health care capacities in many underserved medical fields such as Diabetes, cardiovascular, endocrinology, cancer, ”argued Dr Rasha Kelej.

These many areas she alludes to relate to Research, access to fertility care, women’s health, sexual, reproductive and respiratory care, drug availability.

More than 1,100 doctors from 42 countries have already benefited from Merck Foundation scholarships in these areas above, and others will join them in the coming years, particularly in specialties such as: Internal Medicine, gastroenterology, mental health, orthopedic trauma, pediatrics, emergency Medicine, dermatology, neonatal medicine, pain management, psychiatry, clinical Microbiology and infectious diseases, ophthalmology, urology, traumatology and orthopedics, said Dr Senator Rasha Kelej.

She claims that The Merck Foundation has launched this smart strategy for capacity building in partnership with African First Ladies, ministries of health and medical societies since 2012.

This has significantly contributed to transforming and reshaping the landscape of the healthcare sector and improving the quality of care for the benefit of patients from 42 countries, she concluded.

In addition, the First Lady of Zambia indicated that the Merck Foundation is a long-standing partner in capacity building for workers’ health, improving access to health care, information about stigma. and the discrimination posed by the problem of infertility.

We are indebted to the Merck Foundation for choosing Zambia to host this very important knowledge platform for discussing cross-cutting issues, stressed Ms. ESTHER LUNGU.

In delivering his official opening speech at this ceremony, the President of the Republic of Zambia also expressed his joy to see such an organization taking an interest in his country.

According to his excellence EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU, this platform will make it possible to exploit partnership opportunities and present new cooperation frameworks in the field of capacity building of health workers as well as a possible collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Zambia .

Then the floor was given to the various first ladies who did not fail to highlight the invaluable support that the Merck Foundation brings to African States in the context of the empowerment of girls and women through the education and health but also by allowing them to free themselves from certain traditional beliefs such as the stigma relating to infertility.

Issa Moussa

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