Dr Rasha Kelej, Chief Executive Officer of Merck said in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, that the foundation had supported the women, in collaboration with the First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs Aisha Buhari.
According to her, the foundation has been partnering with Buhari, who is also the Ambassador of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’.
“Over 100 infertile women were supported to establish small business so that they can rebuild themselves and lead independent and happier lives.’’
Kelej said Merck foundation had provided training for embryologists in Nigeria to create a platform of local experts in the fertility care.
“We are fully committed to continuing providing specialised training in the fields of cancer, fertility and diabetes care to more doctors across Nigeria after the official launch,’’ she said.
“They are leading the initiative to empower infertile women and break the stigma around infertility.
“This speaks volume about the work we are doing.
“Also, we have supported the establishment of the first-ever Public IVF centres in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda by training their staff to be able to support the infertile couples.’’
The official said she was proud of the success stories, saying “I always feel that they are my children and I am super proud of their success.
“It is very important to empower infertile women by providing treatment so they can bear children as part of their human rights.
“But, for those who cannot be treated anymore, Merck More Than a Mother’s initiative ‘Empowering Berna’ helps to train them to establish their own small business so that they can be independent and re-build their own lives’’.
Kelej also said that the foundation also worked with local singers, film-makers, media partners and fashion designers to raise awareness to break the stigma of infertility.
“These initiatives are very important for Nigeria since it is the hub of art and fashion, I cannot wait to explore these beautiful talents and work closely with them.
“The aim is to sensitise our communities that women are more than just mothers and men are more than just fathers.
“It takes both a man and a woman to have a child,’’ she said.