The Merck Foundation, a philanthropic organisation, in partnership with the First Lady of Ghana, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has launched a media award scheme to fight the infertility stigma in society in Accra.
The ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Awards scheme, which was launched by Dr Rash Kelej, the Chief Executive Officer of Merck Foundation, also announced the opening of the application period for Ghana and the rest of Africa.
Dr Kalej, who is also the President of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ initiative, said the winners would be announced during the sixth edition of Merck Africa Asia Luminary, the annual conference of the Foundation to be held in October 2019 in Accra, Ghana, which she would co-chair with Mrs Akufo-Addo.
She urged the media professionals from the print, online, radio and multimedia platforms, to take advantage of the opportunity and send their applications, showcasing their works, to raise awareness of infertility prevention and break the stigma in Ghana and the rest of Africa.
The prize money for the awards ranged from $1,000 for the print, online and radio groups to $3,000 for the Multimedia category.
“I strongly believe in the critical role media play to sensitise communities. Therefore, we created these media awards last year with the aim to recognise the outstanding journalistic coverage that enhances the public engagement and understanding of infertility, breaking its stigma and emphasising the need to change the social perception of it in African communities,” Dr Kelej said.
She indicated that for better reportage, the Foundation, in collaboration with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), would be organising the Merck Health Media Training in February 2019 for media representatives, focusing on the international standards and media ethics for reporting sensitive issues such as infertility.
The training, she said, was therefore designed to help journalists understand the infertility issues in African communities and to learn the best practices to cover such issues.