Merck Foundation, Africa First Ladies in COVID-19 awareness campaign

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Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany has announced special awards during coronavirus lockdown and movement restriction, where journalists across the continent stand a chance to win cash prizes for raising awareness on people’s safety while keeping healthy.

“Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards for African Countries is geared at encouraging media to be creative and effective in raising awareness and sensitizing communities on how to stay safe and keep physically and mentally healthy during coronavirus lockdown.

The campaign was recently launched together with African First Ladies of Ghana, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Guinea Conakry, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Gambia, Liberia and Congo Brazzaville.

It is held under the theme: ‘Raising Awareness on how to Stay Safe and keep Physically and Mentally Healthy during Coronavirus Lockdown’.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation explains, “This unsettling period due to the coronavirus scare is difficult for everyone – both physically and mentally. While most countries are under complete lockdown or restricted movement, people do not know how to handle this situation.”

“Social Distancing is our social responsibility and the only way to kill coronavirus, however, it will take a lot of courage and discipline to practice it. Taking good care of your mental and physical health is important during this period. So, we decided to initiate these awards in order to reward journalists who are raising awareness in most effective and creative way on how to keep safe and keep physically and mentally healthy during this phase”.

Eligibility covers all journalists from print, online, radio and multimedia platforms from English speaking, French speaking, Arabic speaking and Portuguese speaking African countries.

Merck Foundation hopes to extend the awards to include Middle Eastern, Latin American and Asian countries in the coming days. 

“Since most of the people are confined to their homes, they are spending a lot of time reading and listening to news through different platforms. Media professionals, it is your time to help the people to take good care of their mental and physical health during these disturbing times, through your creative, informational and motivational work. You can guide them to adjust to their new and different routine and rhythm of life,” added Dr. Kelej.

Entries can be submitted via Email to along with details (including Name, Gender, Country, Media house, Email address & Mobile Number) and entry as an attachment.

Each entry stands a chance to win up to $500 cash.

Last date of submission of entries is June 30, 2020.

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