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Impressive Results as Health Ministry Partners With German NGO to Support Childless Women

Ministry of health has expressed delight at the good results recorded so far from a program it started along with a German based NGO Merck Foundation to help Uganda childless women in rural areas.

The “Merck More than a Mother’ program was started in 2016 with the aim to raise awareness about infertility prevention and management, build fertility care capacity and break the stigma around infertile women.

Under the program, Merck and the Health Ministry established various income generating projects to support infertile women across the country with the aim of empowering them socially and economically. The business set by Merck Foundation has benefitted over 800 women across Uganda.

During an event to assess the progress of the program, Sarah Opendi, Minister of State of Health said, “The journey that Merck Foundation has started is a very special journey that has touched the lives of women who have been forgotten in the communities. It has touched not only women but also the lives of men who have been mistreating their women thinking that infertility is an issue of women, not know that 50% infertility is due to the malefactor. I want to thank Merck Foundation for thinking about these women.”

“The childless women groups we created in each village are doing a great job. I remember last year they had no purpose in life, no respect from their community and no source of income. Today they have a bank account and a steady monthly income; now they are much happier and stronger,” said Dr. Rasha Kelej, the CEO Merck Foundation.

“For me, it’s essential to frequently visit ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ heroines across Africa to influence their transformation. The base of change in these villages is remarkable, and with our efforts and passion this change will be sustainable”, she added

In many Cultures according to studies, childless women suffer discrimination, stigma, and ostracism. Their inability to have children results in great isolation, disinheritance, and assaults.

The “Merck More Than a Mother” program has provided for more than 40 candidates, three months to six months clinical and practical training for fertility specialists and embryologists in more than 15 countries across Africa and Asia.

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