Jun 28
Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej focuses on Breaking Infertility Stigma in the Third Episode of “Our Africa by Merck Foundation” TV program

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej focuses on Breaking Infertility Stigma in the Third Episode of “Our Africa by Merck Foundation” TV program

Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany has launched the Third Episode of their first-ever TV program – ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ on their social media handles.

‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ is a pan African TV program that is conceptualized, produced, directed, and co-hosted by Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation to feature African Fashion Designers, Singers, and prominent experts from various domains with the aim to raise awareness and create a culture shift across Africa.

The TV program is currently broadcasting on KTN Home in Kenya, every Saturday at 5 pm and repeated every Thursday at 6:30 am.

It has also been broadcasted on prime TV stations of many countries like BTV (Botswana) Mashariki TV (Burundi), GHOne&TV3 (Ghana), QTV (The Gambia), LNTV (Liberia), Mibawa Limited (Malawi), Defi Media (Mauritius), AYV TV (Sierra Leone), NTV (Uganda), ZNBC TV (Zambia), and ZBC (Zimbabwe) and it immediately captured the attention and hearts of millions of viewers across Africa. “Our Africa” TV Program will soon be broadcast on GTV in Ghana, NBC in Namibia, and ZTN in Zimbabwe. “Our Africa” TV Program is also currently on social media handles of Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej (Facebook: http://apo-opa.co/3RdVvT8, Instagram: http://apo-opa.co/3RcCFeZ, Twitter: http://apo-opa.co/3x5PUY2 and YouTube: http://apo-opa.co/4aJfWy0) and Merck Foundation (Facebook: http://apo-opa.co/3Xbc4D0, Instagram: http://apo-opa.co/3x7ius3, Twitter: http://apo-opa.co/4aTy5sW and YouTube: http://apo-opa.co/4ejGIjF).

Watch the Promo of ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ here:


The theme for the Third Episode is Breaking the Infertility Stigma, particularly around women, in Africa.

Watch the Third Episode promo here: https://apo-opa.co/4clWEAl

Watch the Third Episode here: https://apo-opa.co/3xCfMuK

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation expressed, “Firstly, I would like to thank all the viewers and followers for the amazing response we have received for our TV Program ‘Our Africa’. Our social media is flooded with lovely and inspiring messages from the viewers! This episode is indeed close to my heart as an African woman, as it is part of our signature campaign “More than a Mother”, the work we have created by our fashion designers and artists all over Africa was very encouraging and kept pushing us to work harder to address this sensitive issue and empower infertile women through information, health and change of mindset. And of course, we will keep addressing more sensitive social and health issues to be the voice of the voiceless in our beloved Africa”.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation further emphasized, “The messages of the designs are also focusing on the issue of male infertility and how fertility is a shared responsibility as it takes a man and woman to have a child. We have addressed this issue through our Fashion and Art with Purpose community. Together we can create a culture shift that will help our communities better understand and act on different issues. Through this episode, I also got a chance to thank my dear sisters, the African First Ladies who I have worked very closely with Merck Foundation for this Movement, as Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.

I would also like to thank our viewers for the amazing response we have been receiving, this is indeed very inspiring and encouraging. Moreover, I would especially like to acknowledge the love we have been receiving from our social media followers, it is phenomenal.”

Merck Foundation’s iconic “More Than a Mother” campaign started and led by Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej is a rallying movement to Break Infertility Stigma faced by women across the African continent.

“More Than a Mother’ Movement is very close to my heart. Along with all the initiatives under this Movement, Merck Foundation also supports building healthcare capacity in Africa, therefore, I am happy to share that Merck Foundation has provided more than 574 scholarships to doctors from 39 countries, with the aim to advance women’s health by building Reproductive&Sexual care and Fertility Care Capacity in Africa and beyond. Moreover, we have trained more than 3200 media representatives from more than 35 countries to raise community awareness, creating a culture shift and breaking the stigma around infertility and infertile and childless women” explained Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.

This third episode featured prominent personalities like Nontando Mposo, Editor-in-Chief, Glamour Magazine, South Africa and popular Singer Blaze from Mozambique. Fashion designers Anuja Bharti from Ghana and Alberto from Mozambique showcased their designs that displayed strong messages on #NoToInfertilityStigma and #MenToo can be the cause of infertility.

Merck Foundation has also been empowering childless and infertile women through their “Empowering Berna” initiative under Merck Foundation’s “More Than a Mother” movement. This initiative helps women who cannot be treated for infertility anymore by helping them to get trained to establish small businesses so that they can be independent and re-build their lives. Through ‘Empowering Berna’, the lives of many infertile women have been transformed in many African countries like Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Niger, Malawi and many more.

Merck Foundation in partnership with African First Ladies have also launched children’s storybook “More Than a Mother”, to emphasize 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. The book has been also adapted to an animation film. Watch More than a Mother Animation Film here:


Merck Foundation has also released many songs to raise awareness about infertility stigma under their “More Than a Mother” campaign. Listen to some of the songs here:

Watch, share&subscribe to the ‘Plus qu’une MERE’ composed and sung by Ms. Lucky-Lou, the daughter of The President and The First Lady of Burundi: https://apo-opa.co/3L5eQT0
Watch, share&subscribe to the “More Than a Mother” song by Cwesi Oteng and Adina from Ghana: https://apo-opa.co/3ziuKH0

Listen to all “More than a Mother” songs here:


“To address this important issue of breaking infertility stigma and also a wide range of other social issues, we annually launch Merck Foundation ‘More Than a Mother’ Awards in partnership with African First Ladies. I would also like to invite the African Community of Media, Fashion, Film making, and Musicians, students and potential talents in these fields to apply for the awards this year, in order to create a culture shift and break the silence about one or more of the following topics: Breaking Infertility Stigma, Supporting Girl Education, Women Empowerment, Ending Child Marriage, Ending FGM, and/ or Stopping GBV at all levels. I am looking forward to receiving their creative work on submit@merck-foundation.com”, added Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.

Contact details:
Mehak Handa
Community Awareness Program Manager
+91 9310087613/ +91 9319606669

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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 www.Merck-Foundation.com to read more. Follow the social media of Merck Foundation: Facebook: https://apo-opa.co/3Xbc4D0, Twitter: https://apo-opa.co/4aTy5sW, Instagram: https://apo-opa.co/3x7ius3, YouTube: https://apo-opa.co/4ejGIjF and Flicker https://apo-opa.co/4ejGKbh.