Merck Foundation CEO and Liberia First Lady Report the Impact of Their Long-Term Partnership to Transform Patient Care in Liberia

•  Merck Foundation CEO and Liberia First Lady meet with 12 African First Ladies during 9th Edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2022 to approve their future strategy and announce their impact report and call for action to build healthcare capacity and empower women & girls in Liberia

•  Merck Foundation is transforming the Patient care landscape and making history together with Liberia First lady and other partners in Africa, Asia, and beyond. Watch partnership journey of Merck Foundation with Liberia First Lady: 

•  Watch the video of The First Lady of Liberia & Ambassador of Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” during the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2022 here:

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, recently conducted their annual conference, the 9th Edition of “Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary”. The conference was inaugurated by Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Merck Foundation Board of Trustees, and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary, and H.E. Mrs. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia & Ambassador of Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” along with African First Ladies of Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Zambia, Angola and Central Africa.

Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized, “I met my dear sister, H.E. Mrs. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia in Senegal in 2018 for the first time and our long-term partnership started since then. We have achieved a lot in a very short time.

We had a long meeting during 9th edition of our Luminary to discuss our joint programs and strategy and report its impact. I am proud to share that together we have provided 37 scholarships to young doctors in Liberia in critical and underserved specialties like Oncology, Fertility & Embryology, Sexual & Reproductive care, Diabetes, Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction and Embryology, and Acute Medicine. Together, we will transform the healthcare sector in the country. I am looking forward to amazing revolution that our long-term partnership can achieve in Liberia.”
H.E. Mrs. CLAR MARIE WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia & Ambassador of Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” emphasized, “Our partnership journey is supporting the social and economic development of our country and Merck Foundation programs are very beneficial for the people of our country. We have achieved many milestones since 2018.
Together we are also working on various initiatives to raise awareness about critical social and health issues like Breaking Infertility Stigma, supporting Girl Education, Stopping GBV, Ending Child Marriage & FGM, diabetes & hypertension awareness. Merck Foundation has provided Sanitary Napkin Production Machine and raw materials to help our young girls to ensure good menstrual hygiene for them, so they can continue their education and reduce the number of girls dropping out from school.
Together, we have provided 37 medical scholarships to our young doctors. This is a huge achievement for us, and we are definitely making history in Libera by training the first specialists in many medical fields such as: Infertility, Embryology, Oncology and Diabetes.”
On day 2 of the Luminary, Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative- MFFLI committee meeting was also conducted between The First Ladies and Merck Foundation Chairman and CEO. During the MFFLI committee meeting, the future strategy of 2023 was discussed and the impact of their partnership programs since 2018, were announced.
“I personally enjoyed our reading session of Children’s storybooks created by Merck Foundation, ‘Jackline’s Rescue’ – to focus on the importance of Girl Education and highlight the immoral practices of society including child marriage & dowry system; and ‘A Ride Into The Future’ – to emphasize on the importance of empowering girls through education. It was my favorite part of MFFLI committee, I hope we keep doing this every year,” Senator Rasha Kelej emphasized.
Watch the video of MFFLI committee meeting:

During the Luminary, an important one to one meeting between The First Lady of Liberia and Merck Foundation CEO, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej was also held to discuss the impact of on-going programs and define strategies to further build healthcare and media capacity in Liberia.
Watch the video of Merck Foundation CEO, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej receiving Liberia First Lady, H.E. Mrs. CLAR MARIE WEAH:
Together with Liberia First Lady, Merck Foundation has provided 37 scholarships to local doctors in Liberia in critical and underserved specialties so far, out of which 9 scholarships have been provided to doctors for Diabetes as a part of their Nationwide Diabetes Blue Points Program.
Moreover, 4 scholarships have been provided for the Oncology Fellowship and Master Program. This has given Liberia the first oncologists and will transform the landscape of cancer care in the country by forming the first cancer care team.
Merck Foundation has also provided 13 scholarships for One-Year Online PG Diploma and Two-Year MSc in Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, and 8 scholarships for Embryology training, Fertility training and Master in the Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction and Embryology, and 3 scholarships have been provided for One-Year Online Post Graduate Diploma and Two-year MSc in Acute Medicine.
“Merck Foundation has always believed in the importance of building healthcare capacity and has been working towards this since 2012. We will continue to provide medical training to Liberian doctors in various medical specialties in partnership with the First Lady of Liberia,” assured Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.
Merck Foundation in partnership with The Liberia First Lady has also initiated “Educating Linda” Program, which is very important for Liberian girls as through this program, scholarships will be provided to 20 underprivileged but brilliant girls to continue their education till they graduate. Additionally, Merck Foundation distributed 3000 essential school items sets to school-going girls.
Moreover, Merck Foundation together with The First Lady of Liberia and The Ministry of Education launched three children’s storybooks titled: “Marpeh’s Story” to emphasize on the strong family values of love and respect from a young age which will reflect on eliminating the stigma of infertility and resulted domestic violence in the future, “Educating Miatta Story” to emphasize on the importance of empowering girls through education and “Make the Right Choice Story” to raise awareness about coronavirus prevention amongst children and youth as it provides facts about the pandemic and how to stay safe and healthy during the outbreak. 30,000 copies of these storybooks have been distributed to school students of Liberia.
“Together we will soon also launch more storybooks to address issues like supporting girl education, child marriage, GBV and diabetes and hypertension. Moreover, we will also continue to train more young doctors and provide Liberia with many more first medical specialists,” assured Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.
Merck Foundation also announced the Call for applications for their 8 important awards in partnership with The First Lady of Liberia for Media, Musicians, Fashion Designers, Filmmakers, students, and new potential talents in these fields.
The 9th Edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary 2022 was streamed live on the social media handles of Merck Foundation and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.
Link to the Facebook live steam of Inaugural Session of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary & African First Ladies High Level


Merck Foundation is transforming the Patient care landscape and making history together with its partners in Africa, Asia, and beyond, through:

•  1580 + Scholarships provided by Merck Foundation for doctors from 50 Countries in 36 critical and underserved medical specialties

Merck Foundation is also creating a culture shift and breaking the silence about a wide range of social and health issues in Africa and underserved communities through:

•  2500+ Media Persons from more than 35 countries trained to better raise Awareness about different social and health issues

•  8 Different Awards Launched annually for best media coverage, fashion designers, films, and songs

•  Around 30 songs to address health and social issues by local singers across Africa

•  8 Children’s Storybooks in three languages – English, French, and Portuguese

•  Pan African TV Program “Our Africa by Merck Foundation” addressing Social and Health Issues in Africa through “Fashion and ART with Purpose” Community

•  1000+ Girls from 15 African countries supported through scholarships or school items, annually.

•  9 Social Media Channels with more than 5 Million Followers.

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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. Follow the social media of Merck Foundation: FacebookTwitter, InstagramYouTube and Flickr.