By Josephine Akaerr, Special Correspondent
The philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany Merck Foundation in partnership with The First Lady of the Republic of Burundi and Ambassador of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother”, H.E. Angeline Ndayishimiye supported families of more than 50 casual workers from the capital city of Burundi, Bujumbura, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, through community donations.
CEO of Merck Foundation Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized, “The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted lives of the unprivileged in cruel ways. Merck Foundation came together with The First Lady of Burundi and our Ambassador, to support the livelihoods of more than 50 families of casual workers, the ones most affected by the pandemic”.
Appreciating Merck Foundation’s support, The First Lady of Burundi and Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother, H.E. Ndayishimiye emphasized “We sincerely appreciate the support provided by the Merck Foundation to help the families of the worst affected people from the Burundian workforce. The Coronavirus pandemic has affected the casual workers and their families harshly, making it difficult to survive. The donations will help them.”
“As a response to Coronavirus pandemic, Merck Foundation has made Community donations to support livelihood of thousands of women, casual workers and persons living with disabilities, affected by Coronavirus lockdown in the following countries in partnership with their First Ladies; Liberia, DRC Congo, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Ghana. Merck Foundation has also undertaken similar relief activity in Egypt”, explained Senator Kelej.
Through their partnership with the Burundi First Lady, Merck Foundation has been building healthcare capacity, by providing specialty training to more than 33 young Burundian doctors in various specialties like Fertility & Embryology, Oncology and Diabetes. Merck Foundation will continue to provide scholarships of training to more doctors over the next 10 years to continue their mission of transforming healthcare sector.
More than 1100 doctors across Africa and Asia have benefited from Merck Foundation scholarship in multiple specialties to improve access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions in Africa and Asia.
Merck Foundation launched Stay at Home Media Recognition Awards to help raise awareness about COVID 19, and also released a storybook “Make the Right Choice” to sensitize children and youth on how to keep healthy and safe during COVID 19 pandemic across Africa.