Merck Foundation has announced that it will train medical personnel from Zimbabwe in various specialities in India starting this year, says an African Daily Voice report. This follows a meeting conducted between Zimbabwe’s First Lady, Auxillia Mnangagwa and Merck Foundation executives during the summit of First Ladies attended by First Ladies from Guinea Conakry, The Gambia, Botswana, Burundi, Congo-Brazzaville, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Liberia, Mozambique, Mauritania and Malawi.
Mnangagwa, who is the ambassador for maternal and childcare in Zimbabwe, was appointed ambassador for “Merck – More than a Mother” in Zimbabwe to help break the stigma associated with infertility among couples.
According to the report, after meeting Merck Foundation CEO Dr Rasha Kelej, Mnangagwa said she was excited to have clinched a deal that will transform the country’s health sector. “The breakthrough is the most exciting thing for me and the nation,” said Mnangagwa.
“Merck Foundation got in touch with me sometime last year and I missed the first summit which was held in Senegal but this time I managed to come to Dubai where many First Ladies are attending and some of them joined a long time ago and this is my first time to attend the summit. Merck Foundation is bringing training of our doctors, awareness on infertility, training in diabetes and high blood pressure. It is also bringing the empowerment of women, girls and young people.
“I am so excited to be in this programme because it is going to see a major shift and development in our country,” she said. “Some of our medical doctors will be going for training in India for months and years and when they return they will do the service to our nation. Media is also going to be trained on how to report and bring awareness to the people to help me in alerting people on the happenings and developments in my activities.
“The training of cancer oncologists and more doctors in diabetes, blood pressure and prostate cancer will go a long way in assisting our nation. We were mainly dealing with cervical cancer but now we are going to take it to males as well so that they are checked and screened for prostate cancer and diabetes,” she added.
“Merck Foundation training in infertility issues will go a long way in changing people’s perceptions as you are aware that every time if a couple fails to conceive, the blame is immediately placed on the woman just because she comes from a certain area or certain family which will be cursed yet both of them (husband and wife) are equally responsible.
“I have a group in Zimbabwe that is dealing with the issue. I will help them to deal with stigma,” she said in the report.
Kelej said she follows Mnangagwa’s philanthropic works through the media. “We successfully held a meeting here with the First Lady of Zimbabwe to underscore our long-time commitment to Zimbabwean people and building skills capacity with a special focus on oncology, cancer care and diabetes.
“We also discussed how to raise awareness and break the stigma on infertility and also empowering women and girls in education. Kelej added: “We will also cooperate with her office, her Angel of Hope Foundation and Ministry of Health and Child Care of Zimbabwe to provide training for fertility specialists and embryologists and have the local expertise to empower the affected in Zimbabwe. There is a very important programme called Bluepoints where we are going to launch nationwide an online one-year diabetes diploma from South Wales University of Britain to educate the doctors on how to manage and prevent diabetes through a one-year diploma and the participants will be one from each of the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe.”
The report says the doctors are expected to establish their own diabetes clinics after graduating.African Daily Voice report