Through this story, Merck More Than a Father Campaign highlights the fact that infertility affects both men and women equally.
“Merck more than a Father” started in 2018 by raising awareness about male infertility prevention and management and breaking the stigma round infertile couples.
Merck more than a Mother started in 2015 with the aim to empower childless women through access to information, health and change of mindset
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany in partnership with The First Lady of Chad, H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, the Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother released an inspiring children storybook The “Story of Amadou” as part of “ More than a Father campaign for community to understand that men can also be the cause of infertility and fertility is a shared responsibility and not a stigma. It also encourages boys to have the love and respect for women since early ages.
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “It is very critical for us to launch Merck Foundation’s children storybook to bring the focus on this sensitive topic. This story considers the official start of our “More than a Father” campaign started in 2018 which considers the natural evolution of our successful campaign “Merck more than a Mother”. Only women have been blamed for infertility. It is time for the community to understand that men too can be cause of infertility and that we must empower them too to overcome the pressure of society and encourage them to love, respect and support their wives during the journey of building happy family since early ages.
H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “I have been associated with Merck Foundation since a long time and very happy with the work they are doing in the country for infertile women and to build healthcare capacity. Childless women still suffer from discrimination and ostracism, although men too can be infertile. Therefore, I believe that this story will give an important message to the community, specially youth that – Women are not just mothers and Men are not just Fathers, they are much more than that”.
“We are making history with Merck Foundation, we are training the first cancer care team and first fertility specialists in Chad, this is a great milestone,” added H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother.
“It’s important for parents and caregivers to start teaching respect and nurturing empathy from an early age. We should teach boys these qualities at their schools and through media. I believe both boys and girls need the same kind of guidance. Just like girls, young boys gradually learn how to control their behavior during their pre-school and elementary school years. This story is our way to empower our boys to develop true respect for women and know few facts about Infertility prevention and how it affects both men and women equally” added Dr. Rasha Kelej.
Merck Foundation has trained first ever fertility specialists in the country by providing clinical training on fertility specialty in the past two years and will continue this program in partnership with Ministry of Health to improve access to quality and equitable fertility care in the country.
Merck Foundation has also enrolled and will continue enrolling doctors from Chad in their Oncology Fellowship Program to have the first cancer care team in Chad as a contribution to improve cancer care in the country.
Merck Foundation has also enrolled six doctors from Chad in the Diabetes Masterclass (French) as a part of their Diabetes Blue Points Project.