President Akufo-Addo appealed for a change of mindset in men as equal contributors to infertility, calling on the multi-sectoral stakeholders converged to chart a new approach towards the prevention, treatment and eventual uprooting of infertility in African communities; a plea heeded by the 9 visiting First Ladies who made it to the gathering, as summed by the hosting First Lady and luminary co-chairperson, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, who assured all present that their interaction and exchange of experiences and vision was becoming a platform fertile for real change in maternal health across Africa and Asia.
The First Ladies committed to partner more effectively with Merck Foundation in restoring women’s dignity within society as a result of abuse borne by stigma on childless women; having also been appointed ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ ambassadors in their respective countries, focused on identifying challenges, defining solutions, measuring impact and sharing experiences to ensure continuous improvement of the programme.
Recently drafted in the campaign and awaiting an official launch, the Office of the First Lady of Lesotho was represented in the gathering by a five-man delegation led by the minister in the prime minister’s office Tšehlo Ramarou.
Present to grace the occasion were the Second Lady of Ghana Samira Bawumia, Denise Nkurunziza the First Lady of Burundi, Brigitte Touadera the First Lady of the Central African Republic, Hinda Deby Int of the Republic of Chad, Clar Weah the First Lady of Republic of Liberia, Professor Gertrude Mutharika the First Lady of Malawi, Fatima Maada the First Lady of Sierra Leone, Aisha Buhari the First Lady of Nigeria, Auxillia Mnangagwa the First Lady of Zimbabwe as well as Esther Lungu the First Lady of Zambia.
Proffesor Dr Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, who is the Chairman of Board of Trustees of Merck Foundation, and CEO Dr Rasha Kelej were also present.