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Staff Reporter

MONROVIA – The Merck Foundation, philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, recently organized its first “Merck Foundation Health Media Training” in partnership with Liberian First Lady Clar Weah, who is also the ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother, aimed at breaking infertility-related stigma in Liberia and the rest of Africa.

The training program was a part of ‘Merck More than a Mother’ community awareness program and was organized for the first time in Liberia for local media representatives and media students.

“We welcome this important initiative of Merck Foundation in our country. Media, if guided properly can bring about a huge change in the current scenario where women solely blamed for infertility. The stigma around infertility needs to be eliminated,” said Mrs Weah.

CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More than a Mother, Doctor Rasha Kelej explained, “I am delighted to initiate this important training session as I strongly believe that media plays a significant role to influence our society to create a cultural shift. It has the capacity and ability to break the stigma around infertility in the community.”

The training was addressed by stalwarts of media industry, including international faculty and infertility experts.

It also provided a great opportunity for the journalists to meet the experts and also to network with each other and work as a unit to eradicate the stigma around infertility in Liberia and rest of Africa. It was attended by journalists working for Print, TV, Radio and Online media and journalism students.

“The Merck Health Media Training program focused on the international standards and media ethics for reporting sensitive issues like infertility in Africa. It was designed to benefit the journalists in understanding the infertility issues in African communities and to learn the best media practices to cover such issues,” added Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Merck Foundation also announced Call for Application for “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ for Liberia and rest of Africa. The “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ were launched in 2017 with the aim to emphasize the role of media in enhancing the public engagement and understanding of infertility stigma and the need to change its social perception in African communities.

The applications are invited by media professionals to showcase their work to raise awareness about infertility prevention and breaking infertility stigma in Liberia and rest of Africa. Last date of submission: Entries can be submitted till 30th June 2019.


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