The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, said the Ghana-Merck Foundation partnership would go a long way to break the stigma against infertility and enhance fertility care capacity in Africa.

She, therefore, expressed pleasure at the successes chalked, so far, since Ghana started working with the Merck Foundation in January, this year, to break the stigma.

She said the Ghana/Merck Foundation partnership would make a positive impact in the movement against stigmatising infertility.

Mrs Akufo-Addo was speaking at the Sixth Edition of Merck Africa Asia Luminary 2019 Conference, which closed on Wednesday in Accra.

She said following the launch of the ‘Merck More than a Mother Campaign,’ in collaboration with Ghana, of which she was appointed an Ambassador, several steps had been taken in medical training and social conscientisation in the movement against infertility.

The two-day conference was co-chaired by Mrs Akufo-Addo and Dr Rasha Kelej, Chief Executive Officer of Merck Foundation, opened by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

As part of the activities, Mrs Akufo-Addo hosted her fellow African first Ladies, policy makers, ministers of Health and Gender, technical experts and stakeholders to discuss social and technological developments in the management of fertility, oncology, women’s health, diabetes and cardiology.

Outlining some of the successes chalked since the launch of Ghana’s partnership with Merck Foundation, Mrs Akufo-Addo said eight doctors had received training in diabetes and cardiovascular preventive medicines, seven health personnel trained in embryology, while fellowships and Masters’ degrees in oncology were facilitated for some Ghanaian doctors.

“These programmes are on-going, with more health personnel scheduled to benefit,” she said, explaining that such programmes were a way of strengthening the medical arm of the Foundation in achieving its objectives.

The First lady said to give meaning to the ‘Merck More than a Mother Campaign,’ which seeks to provide psycho-social support for women going through the challenge of infertility, a Merck Health media training was organised for more than 100 media personnel in Ghana.

There was also the launch of the Merck More Than a Mother Media Recognition Awards to increase awareness on the causes and treatment of infertility.

Adina and Qwesi Oteng, Ghanaian artistes, released the theme song that had a compelling message on who a woman is and what she brings to the table, regardless of her fertility.

There is also the “Kofi’s Story” project, a story for children and youth to educate them on the strong family values of love and respect.

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