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                            Dodoma, Tanzania & Mumbai, Maharashtra, India:
                         Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany in partnership with African First Ladies announced the winners of Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021. The awards were announced by Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother together with African First Ladies, who are also the Ambassadors of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’. The theme of the awards was: Raising awareness about Infertility Prevention, Breaking Infertility Stigma, and Empowering Girls and Women through Education.

 Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation celebrated the winners saying “I am extremely proud and pleased to announce the winners of Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards ‘More Than a Mother’ 2021. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the African First Ladies for their consistent support as Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother. I appreciate all the efforts put in by the African Media Fraternity who became the voice of the voiceless to raise awareness about sensitive social and cultural issues such as Infertility stigma and girl education action, in the past year. I have always emphasized the prominent role of media as I strongly believe that both media and art have the capacity and ability to create a culture shift in our communities in a cost-effective way. I welcome all the winners to be members of our Merck Foundation Alumni and work closely with us to support and empower women and girls at all levels.”Merck Foundation received a great response from African journalists in the form of several excellent entries. The ‘Merck Foundation More Than A Mother’ Awards Committee introduced second and third positions in order to select more than one winner for different categories. The awards committee also announced Special Awards, to acknowledge the high quality of work received in more than one category by the same applicant and this to encourage their passion and dedication towards this noble cause.

Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, said, “I am very happy with the work showcased by all our winners; hence it gives me immense joy to announce that Merck Foundation is additionally rewarding the winners by providing them with one year access to an online educational training program called ‘MasterClass’. The MasterClass is an immersive online experience and self-paced learning course that can be accessed anywhere with the Internet. I encourage all the winners to be ‘Merck Foundation More Than A Mother Advocate’ to further raise awareness about infertility, eliminate the stigma around it and support girl education. I also welcome them as valuable members of ‘Merck Foundation Alumni’.

She further added, “I would also like to announce the Call for Applications for the Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards ‘More Than a Mother’ 2022. I am looking forward to the entries from the Media Fraternity across Africa this year to write meaningful and influencing stories and reports to raise awareness and sensitize our communities about Infertility Prevention, Breaking Infertility Stigma, Empowering Girls & Women through Education. We shall soon share details on these awards for the upcoming year, 2022.”  
 Here is the list of Award Winners:

Here are the winners from West African Countries in partnership with The First Lady of The Gambia, H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW; The First Lady of Ghana, H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO; The First Lady of Liberia, H.E. CLAR MARIE WEAH; and The First Lady of Nigeria, H.E. Dr. AISHA MUHAMMADU BUHARI:

 FIRST Position:

Dzifa Tetteh Tay, The Spectator, GHANA
Ojoma Akor, Daily Trust Newspaper, NIGERIA

 SECOND Position:
Jonathan Donkor, Ghanaian Times, GHANA
Efia Akese, The Mirror, GHANA
​THIRD Position:
Yaw Asirifi-Twum, Freelance Journalist, GHANA

 FIRST Position:
Never Garmah Lomo,, LIBERIA
Zadok Kwame Gyes, Daily Graphic / Graphic Online, GHANA

 SECOND Position:
Neta Kris Abiana Parsram And Emmanuel Kwasi Debrah, Multimedia Group Limited, GHANA
Benedicta Gyimaah Folley, Ghanaian Times, GHANA

 THIRD Position:
Agnes Opoku Sarong, New Times Corporation, GHANA
Bukola Afeni,, NIGERIA

 FIRST Position:
Nyadror Adanuti Nelson, Diamond FM, Tamale (Northern Region), GHANA

 SECOND Position:
Never Garmah Lomo,, LIBERIA

 FIRST Position:
Alieu Ceesay, QTV Gambia, The GAMBIA

 SECOND Position:
Akua Oforiwa Darko, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, GHANA

 THIRD Position:
Beatrice Senadju, Ghana Broadasting Corporation, GHANA

Winners from Southern African Countries in partnership with The First Lady of Namibia, H.E. MONICA GEINGOS; The First Lady of Malawi, H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA; The First Lady of Zimbabwe, H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA:
 FIRST Position:
Sonja, Freelance Journalist at The Namibian Newspaper, NAMIBIA
Moses Mugugunyeki, The Standard, ZIMBABWE

 SECOND Position:
Memory Kutengule Chatonda, Weekend Nation, MALAWI

 THIRD Position:
Isaac Salima, Times Group, MALAWI

 FIRST Position:
Shireen Van Wyk, Freelance Journalist, NAMIBIA
Tendai Rupapa, The Herald, ZIMBABWE
John Manzongo, The Herald Newspaper, ZIMBABWE
Gracious Mugovera, The Patriot, ZIMBABWE

 SECOND Position:
June Shimuoshili, Unwrap.Online, NAMIBIA
Catherine Murombedzi Nee Mwauyakufa, The Observer, ZIMBABWE

 THIRD Position:
Eva Hatontola Chanda, Radio Christian Voice, ZAMBIA

 FIRST Position:
Prudence Chibale Siabana, Radio Phoenix, ZAMBIA

 SECOND Position:
Janet Mtali, Trans World Radio, MALAWI

 FIRST Position:
Alepher kasongo, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation- MBC, MALAWI

 SECOND Position:
Brenard Mwanza, Luntha television, MALAWI

Here are the winners from East African Countries:EAST AFRICAN COUNTRIES
 FIRST Position:
Christina Mwakangale, The Guardian, TANZANIA

 FIRST Position:
Bridges Mugala,, KENYA
Veronica Romwald Mrema,, TANZANIA

 FIRST Position:
Adam Gabriel Hhando, CG FM Radio, TANZANIA
Victor Moturi, Pamoja FM, KENYA

 SECOND Position:
Jumbe Benjamin, KFM RADIO (Nation Media Group – Uganda), UGANDA

 THIRD Position:
Mercy Tyra Murengu, Atoo Sifa Fm-Kakuma, Stringer for Voice of America, KENYA

 FIRST Position:
Walter Mwesigye, NTV Uganda, UGANDA
Zainab Mohammed, TV47 Kenya, KENYA

 SECOND Position:
Elizabeth Kadzo Gunga, Royal Media Services (Citizen TV), KENYA
Anne Njogu, Standard Media Group, KENYA

Here are the winners from African French Speaking Countries in partnership with The First Lady of Burundi, H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE; The First Lady of Central African Republic, H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA; The First Lady of Democratic Republic of the Congo, H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI:AFRICAN FRENCH-SPEAKING COUNTRIES
 FIRST Position:
Issa Moussa, Niger Times, NIGER
Iradukunda, Journal Le Renouveau du Burundi, BURUNDI

 SECOND Position:
Donat Muemba, Jua Magazine, DRC

 FIRST Position:
Koami Agbetiafa, Niger Inter Hebdo, NIGER
Bahwa Ferdinand, Le Journal Africa, BURUNDI
Ambrosine Mêmèdé Azododassi, Savoir News Agency, TOGO

 SECOND Position:
Bréhima Traore,, MALI
Ngwa Keziah Fela, Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) Yaounde, CAMEROON

 FIRST Position:
Schella Claudicia Yemengali, Radio Centrafrique, CAR
Ndayishimiye Cyriaque, Radio TV Buntu, BURUNDI
Magendero Benigne, RTV Buntu Buye, BURUNDI

 SECOND Position:
Stephane Kokanzo, Radio Centrafrique, CAR

 THIRD Position:
Innocent Ndihokubwayo, Radio Tv Buntu, BURUNDI

 FIRST Position:
Donat Muemba, Jua Services / Jua Magazine, DRC
Matthias Kabuya Tshilumba, Radio Télévision Débout Kasaï (RTDK) Mbuji-Mayi, DRC
Jean Népomuscène Irambona, Radio-TV Buntu, BURUNDI

Here are the Special Award Winners


Cassien Tribunal Aungane, Diplomacy & Development, DRC
Jean-Bosco NtaconayigizE, Radio TV Buntu, BURUNDI
Ahmed Bello,, CAMEROON
Maurice Tuninahazimana, Radio TV Buntu, BURUNDI
​​About ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ campaign
“Merck Foundation 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 Foundation 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. 
 The Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” are:

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. NEO JANE MASISI,</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">The First Lady of Botswana</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. SIKA KABORE, The First Lady of Burkina Faso</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE,</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">The First Lady of Burundi</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe</p>

        <p style="line-height: normal;">The Former First Lady of Burundi, H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The Former First Lady of Chad, H.E. HINDA DÉBY ITNO, The Former First Lady of Malawi, H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The Former First Lady of Niger, H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU and The Former First Lady of Zambia, H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The Former First Lady of Guinea Conakry, H.E. CONDÉ DJENE have worked successfully with Merck Foundation as Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Ambassadors to break the stigma of infertility and empower infertile women in their countries.</p>

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 Foundation More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;


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

Click on the link below to Download Merck Foundation App

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

Facebook: Merck FoundationTwitter: @MerckfoundationYouTube: MerckFoundationInstagram: Merck FoundationFlickr: Merck FoundationWebsite: 

About Merck Foundation
 The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website.  Please visit to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck FoundationFacebookTwitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flickr.

Click here for Media Contact Details

                        <p>Mehak Handa (Community Awareness Program Manager), Merck Foundation, [email protected], +91-9310087613,9319606669

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