First Lady awarded


By Joshua Malango, Contributor, Ghana:

Merck Foundation has awarded First Lady Gertrude Mutharika a certificate for her role in dealing with infertility and capacity building issues in maternal health in Malawi.

The foundation, which deals in issues of infertility, cancer and diabetes, says Mutharika has, within a short time, contributed to the well-being of mothers and children in Malawi through the partnership between her Trust, Beautify Malawi (Beam) and the foundation.


The organisations are implementing the ‘More than a Mother’ initiative in Malawi in conjunction with Malawi Health and Population Ministry.

Speaking before presenting the award, the foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Rasha Kelej, who is also co-chairperson of Merck Africa-Asia Luminary, applauded Malawi for making strides within the shortest period since the partnership was launched in August 2019.

“Malawi has to be commended for a vibrant approach it has made on issues to do with stigma on fertility,” Kelej said.


Mutharika, who is also ‘More Than a Mother’ initiative ambassador, has been civic-educating Malawians on issues of infertility and how to end stigma on the same.

She said Beam was advocating local ownership of the project where women and men are encouraged to take leading roles in championing the ‘More Than a Mother’ agenda in line with Beam vision.

“This will be the first fully trained fertility and oncology team in my country to establish a comprehensive skilled team. This is a revolution of health care in Malawi,” Mutharika said.

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