First ladies across 15 countries of sub-Sahara Africa are coming together to raise awareness for Coronavirus and to alleviate the impact of the deadly disease on the continent. Merck Foundation, a German company, is credited with organizing the initiative. Merck Foundation is the philanthropist arm of Merck Group, a healthcare technology company.
The 15 First Ladies are from the following countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Guinea Conakry, Burundi, Central African Republic (C.A.R.), Chad, Zimbabwe, Zambia, The Gambia, Liberia and Congo Brazzaville.
The First Ladies are supporting Merck Foundation’s “Stay At Home” Media Award Competition. Awardees can win a maximum of $500 for a tedious application. It is unsure what other role the first ladies will play.
In the words of a Merck Foundation representative, “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 the journalists who are raising awareness in most effective and creative way on how to keep safe and keep physically & mentally healthy during this phase”.