Merck Foundation commits to long term partnership with Government of Uganda in building healthcare capacity

  • Merck Foundation Supports the First Public IVF and Fertility Center in Sub-Saharan Africa, Established in Uganda
  • Merck Foundation commits to build cancer care capacity and support Uganda Cancer Institute as a center of Excellence for East Africa

Merck Foundation (, a non-profit organization, and a subsidiary of Merck KGaA underscored their commitment to long term partnership with Government of Uganda to build healthcare capacity with special focus on diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, infertility and cancer. During the high-level meeting between His Excellency Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda Minister of State of Health, Hon. Sarah Opendi, Chairman of the Executive Board of E. Merck KG, Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp and the CEO of Merck Foundation Dr Rasha Kelej, Merck Foundation affirmed their commitment to long term partnership with the Government of Uganda to continue their efforts to improve access to healthcare solutions across the country which started in 2012.

Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Board of Trustees of Merck foundation emphasized his commitment to working with Uganda Ministry of Health because of great strides the country has made in building regional centres of excellence for fertility and cancer.

“We appreciate the constant support from the Ministry of Health and thank the Government of Uganda in elevating the health status of Ugandans,” said Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp.

Earlier, Merck foundation together with Ministry of Health of Uganda held a series of meetings and visits to various health institutions and rural communities.

Merck Foundation together with the Uganda Ministry of Health visited rural villages in Western Uganda where ‘Merck More than a Mother’ campaign has established various income generating projects to support infertile women. The Merck Foundation handed over an oxen plough, poultry farms and table banking projects to ‘Merck more than a Mother’ women groups to empower them socially and economically.

The ‘Merck More than a Mother’ women group in appreciation of the Foundation’s support gave Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp and Dr Rasha Kelej turkeys from their flourishing poultry farm.

“One of my most fulfilling moments is seeing these childless women lead happy and independent lives. It was very critical to partner with Ministry of health to enable us to reach to the heart of Africa and raise awareness about infertility prevention and management and break the stigma around infertile women. This is quite a transformation,” said Dr Rasha Kelej.

Merck Foundation, through their ‘Merck More than a Mother’ campaign focuses on empowering infertile women through access to information, awareness, health, change of mind set and economic support in addition to building fertility care capacity across the continent.

“Raising awareness about male infertility is very important to change the culture as the infertility affects women and men equally and yet women are the one who been solely blamed, discriminated and mistreated in their communities. The campaign will address this topic and encourage men to discuss openly their infertility and share the journey of infertility diagnosis and treatment with their wives,” Kelej added.

“Among the many projects we established for the childless women across Africa, it is the highlight of our work and efforts to travel here with the chairman of Executive Board of Merck KG, Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp to the heart of Africa to help transform these women’s lives,” said Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.

During their visit to the new Women Maternal Hospital, Merck Foundation through the ‘Merck More than a Mother’ campaign committed to support the training of embryologists and fertility specialists and the establishment of the first public IVF centre in the new hospital which will be the first in sub-Saharan Africa as well. The First public IVF centre established in Kampala, Uganda aims to improve access to regulated and cost-effective fertility care across Uganda and the rest of Africa.

During their visit to the Uganda Cancer Centre, Uganda Minister for Health, Hon. Sarah Opendi noted “Cancer prevalence in Uganda is the highest in East Africa, with about 300 cases reported in every 1,000 people. She thanked the Merck Company for their continued support in healthcare in the country in terms of technological assistance and capacity building of oncologists and especially to the institute which is the only one of its kind in the region.”

And on his part, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Merck Foundation, Prof Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, commended the high standards of Uganda Cancer Institute and their prudent use of funds in constructing and equipping the centre.

“Through Merck Cancer Access Program, Merck Foundation will continue doing what they do best, building cancer care capacity through providing one, two and three year oncology fellowship programs to doctors and technicians in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Uganda with the aim of increasing the limited number of oncologists in the country and across Africa” said Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Merck Foundation affirmed their support to the Cancer institute’s role as a regional centre of excellence for East Africa.

To know more about Merck Foundation programs and their training and fellowship opportunities, please visit their website and

Distributed by APO on behalf of Merck Foundation.

Media contact:
Sandrah Mulluka

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About Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation (, established in 2017, is a philanthropic organization that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to innovative healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website. Please go to to read more and/or register online to interact and exchange experience with our registered members.
Merck Foundation is a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany.

About Merck:
Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2016, Merck generated sales of € 15.0 billion in 66 countries.
Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

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Bluechain to Moderate and Present Multiple Sessions at Seamless East Africa 2017

Bluechain (, a universal Request for Payment (RfP) technology that secures data transactions through a single-user mobile experience across payment channels, announced Managing Director of Bluechain Africa, Yoku Korsah, will moderate a keynote panel and deliver a keynote session at Seamless East Africa held on September 6-7, 2017 at the Radisson Blu in Nairobi.

Bluechain’s Korsah will draw from his deep domain expertise with over 25 years in payments, consulting and advisory services, and experience as the former Chief Operating Officer of the Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS), to moderate and present the following Seamless East Africa keynotes:

Keynote panel: Increasing Interoperability – The Role of National Payment Switches
Keynotes, Sep 6 at 10:10
Moderator: Yoku Korsah, Managing Director, Bluechain

  • Expanding access to financial services as well as financial inclusion
  • Reevaluating the effectiveness of legacy core banking infrastructure
  • Adopting innovative technologies to facilitate seamless payment systems
  • Promoting co-opetition between financial institutions

Panel: Jennifer Theuri, CEO – Fintech lead, Integrated Payment Services Ltd;
Anton Groenewald, Head of Pre-sales: Africa, BPC Banking Technologies;
Bizuneh Bekele, CEO, Ethswitch S.C.

Building out a Low-Cost Merchant Acquisition Strategy in East Africa
Keynotes, Sep 6 at 12:23
Speaker: Yoku Korsah

Bluechain is a Platinum Sponsor of Seamless East Africa and recently announced the opening of its African office and subsidiary in Nairobi Kenya. Bluechain’s easy to use mobile payments app facilitates greater financial inclusion, while the Bluechain platform provides both merchants and consumers with increased security, simplicity and control over payments. The company’s ability to provide financial inclusion for the un-banked and create a cash-lite society provides the ability to continue to develop Africa’s economy, and drive commerce across trading partners through all channels of payments.

To discuss the session or how Bluechain might help you with your central payments and financial inclusion initiatives, visit our sponsor booth #28 during Seamless East Africa, September 6-7, 2017.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Bluechain Pty Ltd.

Media Contact:
Kurt A. Mueffelmann, Executive Vice President

Larrissa Muthoni
Communications Consultant for Bluechain East Africa
M: +254727854723

About Bluechain:
Bluechain ( is a next-gen universal payment platform that enables central payment networks and financial institutions to streamline merchant and consumer transactions. Using existing infrastructures, Bluechain leverages a new security paradigm that eliminates the need for exposing cardholder data during a transaction and delivers one app for all payments. Bluechain reduces the major causes of card fraud and breaches, increases mobile payment adoption and lowers fees and costs.

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Source:: Bluechain to Moderate and Present Multiple Sessions at Seamless East Africa 2017


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Vladimir Putin meeting with President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Vladimir Putin met in Xiamen with President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to discuss development of bilateral cooperation in various areas.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,

Please accept my warmest greetings.

It has been a long time since our last meeting, although our relations continue to show very positive development and our colleagues are in ongoing contact with each other in practically all areas.

I am particularly pleased with the recovery in our economic ties. Growth came to 1.6 percent in 2016, and in the first half of this year, it was already at 14 percent.

We work actively together on settling regional conflicts and I thank you very much for this cooperation. Egypt makes a significant contribution to settling very serious regional crises.

I am pleased to have this chance to meet today and discuss these issues with you.

President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (retranslated): Mr President,

Thank you very much for this chance to meet and discuss our two countries’ cooperation in different areas. I value this greatly and thank you for this meeting.

I would like to inform you that we have completed the formalities for approving the contract to build the nuclear power plant at al-Dabaa. We welcome this and hope that you will be present together with me at the contract’s official signing. This would be a good opportunity to welcome you once more on Egyptian soil.

Regarding regional conflicts, above all Syria and Libya, we seek to play the most positive role in settling these conflicts. I am referring to the need to combat terrorism and preserve these countries’ unity and territorial integrity. This is a fundamental goal that we pursue. We count on your support in our efforts to reach this goal.

Distributed by APO on behalf of President of Russia.

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Source:: Meeting with President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi


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Cooperation agreement between Russian Federation and Republic of South Africa on maintaining international information security

Press release on signing a cooperation agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of South Africa on maintaining international information security

On September 4, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, signed an intergovernmental cooperation agreement on maintaining international information security. They signed it on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Xiamen, the People’s Republic of China.

The signing of this document once again proves the high level of trust between our states. It reflects the spirit of genuine strategic partnership that is typical of Russian-South African relations. The agreement shows the striving of Russia and South Africa to expand bilateral cooperation on one of the most important aspects of maintaining international and national security.

Another key stage in the history of Russian-South African cooperation has been completed in Xiamen: both countries have formalised their identical approaches to maintaining international information security, and they have laid an international legal framework for implementing specific joint initiatives in this area.

Russia and the Republic of South Africa come from a common position on evaluating the threats in international information security, including the use of information-communications technologies for perpetrating acts of aggression, violating the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of states, for interfering in their domestic affairs, damaging their economies and also for terrorist and other criminal purposes.

The agreement will allow our countries to conduct practical cooperation on a range of issues to maintain international information security at a new level. This implies the creation of a joint system for responding to threats in this sphere, for investigating cases of the use of information-communication technologies for terrorist and other criminal purposes, for jointly drafting and advancing the relevant norms of international law, implementing joint research and development projects and training experts in this field.

The signing of the agreement allows the concerned agencies of our countries to launch a direct dialogue regarding the main cooperation aspects of maintaining international information security.

In addition, this document allows Russia and South Africa to more closely coordinate their approaches to issues of international information security on the international scene, including such venues as the UN, BRICS and the International Telecommunication Union.

For implementing this agreement, Russia and South Africa will hold regular interdepartmental consultations to discuss the entire range of issues for maintaining international information security.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

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Source:: Press release on signing a cooperation agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of South Africa on maintaining international information security


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