President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has commended the First Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, for her immense contribution towards the provision of critical services to Ghanaian women and children.

Opening the sixth Edition of Merck Africa Asia Luminary Conference in Accra, the President said the occasion had provided “the rare opportunity of sharing the same stage with Rebecca”, who was also co-chairing the conference, and “allowing me to pay tribute publically to her, for the widely acclaimed sterling work she has been doing for our nation for nearly three years”.

He said Mrs Akufo-Addo had been working in the areas of culture, education, and health and in the advancement of protection of women and children.

Speaking in the Ga language, the President said among a thunderous applause from the over 1,000 participants attending the conference that: “Rebecca, ayeekoo, obomoden”, to wit, Rebecca, well-done, you have excelled”.

Mrs Akufo-Addo and Dr Rasha Kelej, Chief Executive Officer of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More than a Mother, are co-chairing the conference, which also coincided with the second anniversary celebration of the establishment of the Merck Foundation.

It is expected to contribute to improving access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions and building healthcare capacity in the field of Diabetes, Hypertension, Cancer, Research, Fertility care and women’s health.

Meanwhile, other African first ladies, including Madam Clar Marie Duncan-Weah of Liberia and Madam Aisha Muhammadu Buari of Nigeria, also took turns to express their admiration for Mrs Akufo-Addo for the magnificent work she was doing in bringing solace to many Ghanaians.

Madam Duncan-Weah described Mrs Akufo-Addo as her role model, especially with her “calm but assuring demeanour” and how she goes about her philanthropic work.

Mrs Akufo-Addo, had been described as a passionate philanthropist with a keen interest in issues that impact women and children.

She co-founded the charity, Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation in 2005 to support the national effort to reduce malaria infections in infants and young children.

Since 2017, the charity had added the eradication of malnutrition to its scope of work, having recognised the inter-relation between malaria and malnutrition, particularly in children.

She established the Rebecca Foundation in January 2017 with focus on the well-being of Ghanaian women and children through the implementation of sustainable, collaborative and high impact strategies.

The education of children, the health of women and children, and economic empowerment of women, have been the three main intervention areas under the Foundation.

In her first year as the First Lady, Mrs Akufo-Addo raised funds to construct a Mother and Baby Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, and another one at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, a gesture that had been widely applauded locally and by international partners.

Her Foundation is also helping to raise funds to complete the construction of a hostel for the parents of children on cancer treatment at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, as well as running other mentorship programmes for both in-school and out of school young girls.

As Ghana’s premier Ambassador for HIV and AIDS, Mrs Akufo-Addo works with the Ghana AIDS Commission and other partners to ensure that the country met all its HIV/AIDS targets.


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