News The African Way

Merck Group to empower women, girls in Kenya

By Winifred Bulus

Plans are underway by a leading Science and Technology company, Merck Group to empower women and girls in Kenya, East Africa.

This to enable them have better experience of the world at large and free them from cultural bondage that has enslaved them from reaching their potentials.

The group made this known in the country’s capital, Nairobi, while observing the ‘Merck More than a Mother’ annual program which started in 2015.

Member of Executive Board and CEO of Merck Healthcare, Belén Garijo, stressed the decision saying, “I believe in women empowerment and especially childless women, they are mistreated and discriminated in many cultures for being unable to have children and start a family.”

Empowering these women through access to information, health, and change of mind set to remove the stigma of infertility is needed.

Through ‘Merck More than a Mother,’ “We are supporting this strong message together with our partners and we will continue our commitment to improve access to regulated and effective fertility care in Africa.”

The First Lady of the Central African Republic, CAR, Madame Brigitte Touadera, who was also at the summit expressed willingness to work with the Merck Group as it is in line with Central African Republic’s quest for finding solutions to infertile men and women in the country and giving them a chance to bear children as part of their human rights.

She said, “As the champion for the initiative in CAR and for Francophone Africa, I acknowledged the role that ‘Merck More than a Mother’ is playing to break the stigma around infertile women and to raise awareness about infertility prevention, male infertility and the necessity of a team approach to family building among couples which is very critical for Africa.

“It is very important to empower infertile women through improving access to awareness and fertility care so they can bear children as part of their human rights.”

Brigitte Touadera however recalled the susess of the program in other African countries, saying, “In 2016 over 1,000 infertile women in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Liberia, Ghana, Central African Republic and Cote d’Ivoire who can no longer be treated have been empowered socially and economically to lead independent and happier lives through the ‘Empowering Berna’ project.”

First lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, while receiving the groups on a courtesy visit  at the State house, expressed gratitude and willingness to collaborate with the two organization in realising the set goals.

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