First lady accorded ambassadorial role

CHAKWERA—I am happy

The country’s first lady, Monica Chakwera, has been appointed Merck Foundation More than a Mother Ambassador, replacing former first lady, Gertrude Mutharika.

Merck Foundation is an organisation that aims at improving health care systems and enhancing issues of fertility and other health problems faced in Africa.

The foundation works with African first ladies and they are given the ambassadorial role to champion issues of health including fertility matters in their respective countries.


The foundation on Monday held a virtual meeting involving 15 African countries including Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Angola.

In her address, Chakwera said she is happy to be part of the Merck Foundation First Ladies initiative.

“I was much honoured to be appointed as ambassador of Merck more than a mother ambassador. My mind is now open on infertility and I will be educating girls especially those in the villages about these matters.


“We are going to train fertility specialists for the first time to help couples that are struggling to conceive. I will concentrate more on prevention of infections that tend to lead to infertility as prevention is key,” she said.

Chakwera also said, through the foundation in Malawi, they will partner with the Ministry of Education and will be sponsoring 20 best performing girls in Secondary Schools.

She also said the foundations will soon announce names of ‘stay at home’ media awards competition that targeted journalists to write about the need to stay at home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany together with African First Ladies announced the call for applications for their ‘Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards for African countries mid this year.

The organisation is working with first ladies from Ghana, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Guinea Conakry, Burundi, Central African Republic (C.A.R.), Chad, Zimbabwe, Zambia, The Gambia, Liberia and Congo Brazzaville on the media awards initiative.

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