The Health Editor of Daily Trust newspaper, Ojoma Akor, has won the West African print category of the Merck Foundation ‘More Than a Mother’ 2021 Africa media recognition awards.
The award was organised by Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany in collaboration with the First Lady of Nigeria, Dr Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, and other African first ladies.
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The theme of the awards was ‘Raising awareness about infertility prevention, breaking infertility stigma, and empowering girls and women through education.’
Akor had earlier won the Nigerian print category of the Merck Foundation ‘Stay at Home’ Media Recognition Awards on raising awareness on Coronavirus in 2020.
Dzifa Tetteh Tay of The Spectator, Ghana was also a joint winner of the print category of the Merck Foundation ‘More Than a Mother’ 2021 Africa media recognition awards for West African countries.
Never Garmah Lomo of Newspublictrust.com, Liberia and Zadok Kwame Gyes, Daily Graphic, Ghana won the first position in the online category, while Nyadror Adanuti Nelson of Diamond FM, Ghana, and Alieu Ceesay, QTV Gambia, won the radio and multi-media categories respectively.
Dr Rasha Kelej, Chief Executive Officer of Merck Foundation in a statement on Wednesday while announcing the winners said she was very happy with the work showcased by all the winners, adding that the foundation received a great response from African journalists in the form of several excellent entries.
She said, “Hence it gives me immense joy to announce that Merck Foundation is additionally rewarding the winners by providing them with one year access to an online educational training program called ‘MasterClass’.
“The MasterClass is an immersive online experience and self-paced learning course that can be accessed anywhere with the Internet.
“I appreciate all the efforts put in by the African media fraternity who became the voice of the voiceless to raise awareness about sensitive social and cultural issues such as Infertility stigma and girl education action, in the past year.
“I have always emphasized the prominent role of the media as I strongly believe that both media and art have the capacity and ability to create a culture shift in our communities in a cost-effective way.
“I welcome all the winners to be members of our Merck Foundation Alumni and work closely with us to support and empower women and girls at all levels.”
She enjoined all the winners to be ‘Merck Foundation More Than A Mother Advocate’ to further raise awareness about infertility, eliminate the stigma around it
and support girl education.
While congratulating the winners, she announced the Call for Applications for the Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards ‘More Than a Mother’ 2022.
Kelej also thanked African First Ladies for their consistent support as Ambassadors of Merck Foundation ‘More Than a Mother.’
The ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ campaign is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets.
The powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe, effective and equitable fertility care solutions. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility.