Merck Foundation partners with Burundi First Lady to build healthcare capacity, break infertility stigma

Burundi First Lady Angeline Ndayishimiye and Merck Foundation CEO Dr Rasha Kelej / APO GROUP

Germany’s Merck Foundation has partnered with Burundi First Lady Angeline Ndayishimiye to build healthcare capacity, empower girls in education and break the infertility stigma.

This emerged during a high-level meeting between Merck Foundation CEO Dr Rasha Kelej and the First Lady.

Merck Foundation underscored its long-term commitment to continue their efforts to build healthcare capacity, empower girls in education and break the infertility stigma in Burundi. Ndayishimiye was also appointed as the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother.

“I am very happy to partner with Merck Foundation and excited to capitalize on their valuable programs in our country. These programmes will create a very significant impact on our people’s advancement, as health is very critical to our social and economic development,” Ndayishimiye said.

As the Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother, Ndayishimiye said she will work closely with the foundation to sensitise communities to better understand infertility and empower women through access to education, information, health and change of mindset and empower girls through education”.

Kelej said she was proud of the partnership and welcomed her as the new member of Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative-MFFLI .

“ We have discussed our long-term collaboration and partnership with her Foundation and Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education to build healthcare capacity in Burundi, by providing training to doctors in the fields of cancer, fertility, and diabetes care,” Kelej said.

Merck Foundation has been operating in Burundi for the past three years through their partnership with Burundi government and Former First Lady Denise Nkurunziza.

It has provided specialty training to more than 31 Burundi doctors.

Merck Foundation made history by providing training to the first oncologist and fertility specialists and embryologists in Burundi.

“So far 10 doctors have completed the fertility and embryology training, and together with Burundi First Lady, more doctors will be trained to improve access to quality and equitable fertility care in the country,” Kelej added.

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