BY MARY KUYE
The 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary will be co-chaired by H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, First Lady of the Republic of Zambia and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation; The President of the Republic of Zambia, H.E. Mr. EDGAR LUNGU and Chairman of Merck KG executive board, Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp will officially inaugurate the “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary” Online; 19 African First Ladies will be the Guests of Honor and Ministers of Health, Gender, Information, Education and Science & Technology from 25 African countries to participate; More than 2000 healthcare providers, policymakers and media from over 70 countries will benefit from the Luminary.
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany, will conduct their annual conference, the 8th Edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary” from 27th April to 29th April 2021 in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Zambia. The conference will be conducted on a virtual platform, and will be inaugurated by H.E. Mr. EDGAR LUNGU, The President of Zambia along with Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of both of Executive Board of E.Merck KG and Merck Foundation Board of Trustees, and is co-chaired by H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of of Zambia and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.
Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, emphasized, “We are proud to welcome our Guests of Honors and Keynote Speakers, the First Ladies of 19 African Countries and African Ministers of different sectors from more than 25 countries. Together, we will discuss our strategy to build healthcare capacity and establish a strong platform of specialized trained medical experts to be the first in their countries and to define interventions to break infertility stigma and support girl education. This annual scientific and social education program will also engage healthcare providers, academia and media in an open dialogue and deliberations on various topics with the aim to improve access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions.”
Following the Inauguration of the Luminary, on the 27th of April, a high-level panel meeting of Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative Committee, will be conducted together with 19 African First Ladies to discuss healthcare and social issues that can be addressed to contribute to the Social and Economic Development in Africa; and advance healthcare, media and awareness capacities and capabilities in these countries. The African First Ladies attending the conference as Guest of Honor are:
- H.E. Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia Co-chairperson of 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary
- H.E. Mrs. ANA DIAS LOURENÇO, The First Lady of the Republic of Angola
- H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of the Republic of Botswana
- H.E. Madam SIKA KABORE, The First Lady of Burkina Faso
- H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of the Republic of Burundi
- H.E. Madam BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic
- H.E. Madam DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, The First Lady of Democratic Republic of The Congo
- H.E. Mrs. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of the Republic of The Gambia
- H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana
- H.E. Madam DJÈNÈ CONDÉ, The First Lady of the Republic of Guinea
- H.E. Mrs. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of the Republic of Liberia
- H.E. Mrs. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of the Republic of Malawi
- H.E. Mrs. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of the Republic of Mozambique
- H.E. Mrs. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of the Republic of Namibia
- H.E. Madam AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU- MAHAMADOU, The First Lady of the Republic of the Niger
- H.E. Dr. Mrs. AISHA MUHAMMADU BUHARI, The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
- H.E. Mrs. FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone
- H.E. Mrs. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe
“I am looking forward to welcoming my dear sisters, Her Excellencies, for the conference. Moreover, I am also very happy that during the conference will also mark an important occasion; the 4th Anniversary of Merck Foundation”, added Senator, Dr. Kelej.
On the 28th of April, MARS- Merck Foundation Africa Research Summit will he held where a High-Level Panel Discussion with Ministers of Health, Science and Technology, Education, Information And Gender and MARS Researchers will be held with the objective to empower African young researchers & women researchers, advancing their research capacity and empower them in STEM.
On the third day, 29th April, Merck Foundation Health Media Training will be organized for the African and Latin American Media fraternity to emphasize the important role that media plays to break the stigma around infertility, in raising awareness about infertility prevention and empowering girls and women through education.
Other important scientific sessions in different medical fields will also be held in parallel on Day 2 and Day 3 of the Luminary.
During Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary, in order to contribute to the social and economic development of Africa and Asia, more than 2000 Healthcare providers, policy makers, academia, researchers and health media from more than 70 countries from Africa, asia and Latin America iwill benefit from the three days conference that contain valuable educational and social development sessions in four languages; English, French, Spanish and Portuguese by top International experts in Diabetes, Fertility, Oncology, women health, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory and Acute Medicine and Health Media with the aim to raise health awareness and improve disease management, early detection and prevention, build healthcare capacity and improve access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions across the three continents.
The Luminary’21 will also mark the announcement of two awards for media fraternity, Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021 and Merck Foundation “Mask Up With Care” Media Recognition Awards 2021; two awards for fashion fraternity, Merck Foundation Fashion Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021 and Merck Foundation “Make Your Own Mask” Fashion Awards 2021; in addition to Merck Foundation Film Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021 and Merck Foundation Song Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021.
Countries participating in the 8th Africa Asia Luminary include:
Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central Africa Republic, Cambodia, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guinea – Bissau, Guinea – Conakry, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, U.A.E, UK, Uganda, US, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe and more.
The 8th Edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary will be streamed live on 27th April, from 14h to 18:030h (Gulf Standard Time) and on 28th and 29th April 2021 from 13h to 18:00h (Gulf Standard Time), @ Merck Foundation Facebook page (https://bit.ly/3v5WB5z) and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej Facebook page.