By News Editor

Senator Rasha Kelej popularly known as Mama Africa has invented yet another nontraditional initiative known as Our Africa by Merck Foundation, a pan African Unique TV programme that is embellished with fashion, designers, singers and prominent guests from different locales with the objective of raising awareness covering extensive range of social and health issues in Africa.

Prior to this development, Mama Africa has been a strong advocate for patient care, for many who have suffered public disapproval due to relevant social issues in Africa. She is the present CEO of Merck Foundation which has been named as the NGO of the Year 2022 and the most influential foundation. This foundation  is saddled with the responsibility of birthing a better future for Africa and has over the years, sensitised and promoted many beneficial projects to people all around the continent. Amongst other beneficial projects, Merck Foundation has provided more than 1300 scholarships of one-year diplomas and two-year master degrees for doctors from 45 countries in 32 critical and underserved medical specialties in Africa.

The Foundation also believes that songs play significant roles in influencing cultural changes. With this belief, Merck foundation in partnership with African First Ladies has produced over 25 songs on relevant issues such as breaking infertility stigma, supporting girls’ education, and women empowerment in English, French and Portuguese.

Speaking about this unconventional idea, Dr. Tasha Kelej said that the TV programme was invented to harness the beautiful, colourful designs that are embedded in Africa. Her desire was born out of her perpetual admiration for Art and Fashion in Africa and she believes that fashion and art should travel beyond the spheres of entertainment and beautiful attires to sensitising African communities about social and health issues. She also believes strongly that fashion and Art are a duo that occupies an indispensable position in sensitizing people about health and social matters.

The show which is hosted by Rasha Kelej, and Uganda’s famous presenter, Brian Mulando, addresss and raises awareness on a wide range of prevalent and relevant social and health issues by reaching out to people in the urban and rural communities across Africa. Some of these issues include Breaking the Infertility Stigma, Ending Child Marriage, Supporting Girl Education, Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Stopping GBV, Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle, Prevention and Management of Diabetes, and Coronavirus Health Awareness.

Our Africa by Merck Foundation promises a great future for African communities. Its establishment was greeted with positive feedback from viewers, specifically youth and children. 

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