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The First Lady of Burundi releases a song to contribute to Merck More Than a Mother and Break Infertility Stigma

The First Lady of Burundi releases a song to contribute to Merck More Than a Mother and Break Infertility Stigma

The song and video have been composed, sung and produced by The First Lady of Burundi, H.E. DENISE NKURUNZIZA; the song will be launched during the Merck Foundation conference “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” in Accra, Ghana.

Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com), the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany is very happy to receive such an empowering song to break the stigma around infertility in Africa and rest of the world as a contribution from the First Lady of Burundi a part of her efforts as an Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother.

The song and its video have been composed. sung and produced by The First Lady of Burundi, H.E. DENISE NKURUNZIZA, as her special contribution to support Merck More Than a Mother campaign. The video of the song will be officially launched during the 6th Edition of “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” in Accra, Ghana.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than a Mother explained, “I would like to thank Her Excellency DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi for her efforts to support us in breaking the stigma around infertility. The song communicates an important message to the society that not only women but #mentoo can be the cause of infertility. It gives an important message that ‘fertility is a shared responsibility’ and men should support their wives during their journey for building a happy family. It also delivers Merck Foundation’s key message that ‘women are more than just mothers’.”

H.E. MADAM DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi, President of Buntu Foundation and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized “I created this song to empower infertile women and send out the message to the entire African community that infertility is not a stigma. It is my personal contribution towards Merck More Than a Mother, an important campaign by Merck Foundation”.

Merck Foundation has been working at all levels to bring in a cultural shift in the African society and has been advocating for the women who aren’t able to bear children against the discrimination, isolation and violence.

“Art has the capacity and influence to make the problem felt, which further stimulates emotions and leads to engagement and action. Hence, we used this medium to address the issue of infertility with a special focus on male infertility to encourage men to speak up about their infertility and join the journey of building a happy family with their wives. I personally believe that this song will add significant value to influence the culture change we are advocating in Burundi and rest of Africa” concluded Dr. Rasha Kelej.


Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.

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About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign:
“Merck More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe and effective fertility care. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

With “Merck More than a mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility on all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child. 

The Ambassadors of “Merck More Than a Mother” are:

H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana

H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia

H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique

H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi

H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry

H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia

H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic

H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia

H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADO, The First Lady of Niger

H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad

H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi

H.E FATIMA MAADA, The First Lady of Sierra Leone

H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville

H.E. DR. MAESAIAH THABANE, The First Lady of Lesotho

H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGW, The First Lady of Zimbabwe

H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana

H.E. KEÏTA AMINATA MAIGA, The First Lady of Mali

H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia

Merck Foundation is making history in many African countries where they never had fertility specialists or specialized fertility clinics before ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ intervention, to train the first fertility specialists such as; in Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Chad, Guinea, Ethiopia and Uganda. 

Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck more than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAPAIGN, such as;

  • Merck More than a Mother media recognition award and health media training

  • Merck More than a Mother fashion award

  • Merck More than a Mother film award

  • Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it

  • Children storybook, localized for each country

About Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com), 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. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com), Facebook (bit.ly/2MmUl3p), Twitter (bit.ly/2NDqHLR), Instagram (https://bit.ly/2MtCKsu), YouTube (bit.ly/318obQe) and Flicker (bit.ly/2P7AICN).

About Merck:
Merck (MerckGroup.com) is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 53,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2017, Merck generated sales of € 15.3 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma.


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Dr. Rasha Kelej CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than a Mother with H.E. MADAM DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother

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