Merck foundation has partnered with African First Ladies aimed at initiating an awareness campaign on the coronavirus disease, amidst gradual increase of cases globally.
According to a release, Merck Foundation has announced that the initiation is a special program tailored around the Coronavirus lockdown by different African States where there is are restrictions on the movement of people in the various localities.
The Foundation disclosed that there will be awards for journalists who exerted their efforts in raising awareness in the fight against the COVID-19 virus in their various communities during the lockdown periods.
The theme of the awards is ‘Raising Awareness on how to Stay Safe and keep Physically and Mentally Healthy during Coronavirus Lockdown
“The Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards for African Countries to encourage media to be creative and effective in raising awareness and sensitizing in various Communities on how to stay safe and keep physically and mentally healthy during Coronavirus lockdown” a statement from the Foundation noted.
The release further stated that Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany together with
African First Ladies of 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 opened the call for applications for their stay at home Media Reorganization Awards for African countries.
According to Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck “This unsettling period due to the coronavirus scare is difficult for everyone – both physically and mentally, While most countries are under complete lock down or restricted movement, people do not know how to handle this situation”.
She stressed that Social Distancing is a Social Responsibility and the only way to avoid the Coronavirus, citing, that it will take a lot of courage and discipline to practice it.
She added that taking good care of ones mental and physical health is important during this period so Merck Foundation decided to initiate these awards in order to reward journalists who are raising awareness in most effective way on how to keep safe and keep physically and mentally healthy during this phase.
Journalists from Print, Online, Radio and Multimedia Platforms from English speaking, French speaking, Arabic speaking and Portuguese speaking countries are invited to send their entries for the awards, the statement said.
The most creative and influential media working in sensitizing communities about this alarming topic at a regular basis will be eligible to win these “We have created four categories for Africa; English, French, Portuguese and Arabic speaking countries”, Dr Kelej added.
She assured the public that Merck Foundation will extend the awards to include Middle Eastern, Latin America and Asian countries in the next few days to in all media across the globe south”Dr. kelej added
Also, Dr. Kelej added that 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 it is tome for media professionals to help people to take good care of their mental and physical health during these disturbing time through creative information and motivation.
“You can guide them to adjust to their new and different routine and rhythm of life” she urged journalists.
Online, Radio and Multimedia Platforms from English speaking, French speaking, Arabic speaking and Portuguese speaking African countries are encouraged to apply for the Merck Foundation “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards, deadline for submission of application is June 30,2020