Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej is one of 100 Most impactful Change Makers for her great efforts to transform patient care, women empowerment and girl education through her position as Merck Foundation () CEO; The Humanitarian Awards Global has unveiled their esteemed list of 100 Most Impactful Change Makers in Africa for 2022, representing diverse sectors of change makers impacting lives; Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej has also been recently awarded Doctorate of Letters Honoris Causa (D.Litt) by Krishna World University for her outstanding achievement in the social sciences, justice and reform; Merck Foundation CEO has also been recognized, for the fourth year, as the “Most Influential African Woman “ from 2019 to 2022 by New Africa Woman Magazine, UK, for her efforts as a devoted Health and Girl Education champion and for her fight against infertility stigma and child marriage.
Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of “More Than a Mother” Campaign has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Impactful Change Makers in Africa” by Humanitarian Awards Global to acknowledge her commitment and Great efforts towards ending child marriage, supporting girl child education and transforming patient care across Africa and beyond.
Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej expressed, “I am honored to be recognized as One of the 100 Inspiring and Influential change-makers from Africa” for 2022 by the Humanitarian Awards Global (HAG) to acknowledge me as an African woman and Merck Foundation CEO for my efforts and commitments towards building healthcare capacity, transforming patient care landscape, empowering women & girls so that they can reach their potential and pursue their dreams. I promise to continue our efforts to improve patient access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions, increase community awareness and create a culture shift in Africa, Asia and beyond.
“Congratulations to all the exceptional change makers who have been selected this year with me. Well deserved!”
Through Merck Foundation, Dr. Kelej has transformed patient care in Africa and beyond by providing more than 1580 scholarships to young doctors from 50 countries, in 39 underserved medical specialties.
Dr. Rasha Kelej has been successfully leading the Merck Foundation programs for the past 10 years and works closely with more than 20 African First Ladies as Ambassadors of Merck Foundation and Ministries of Health, Education, Information, Communication, Gender, Academia, Media and Art societies in 50 countries.
“Together with our partners, we can impact the lives of people in the most disadvantaged communities in Africa and beyond”, Senator Kelej believes.
Under her leadership, Merck Foundation was recognized as the “2022 NGO OF THE YEAR”, the Most Influential NGO in Africa whose collective efforts greatly contribute to Shaping Africa’s Future through key sectors such as Health, Education and Economic empowerment by transforming patient care landscape, creating a culture shift, supporting girl education, empowering women, and breaking infertility stigma in Africa and beyond.
She strongly believes in girl education; and through her ‘Educating Linda’ program, she has been providing scholarships to 1000s of schoolgirls to continue their education to reach their potential, through grants and school items.
She has created also a pan-African TV program “Our Africa by Merck Foundation”, directed and hosted by her, to sensitize communities about critical social and health issues through fashion and art.
The mission of Humanitarian Awards Global is to inspire and empower the next generation of Global change makers who are dedicated to transforming lives and challenging the status quo. In pursuit of this objective, they have released their annual publication, highlighting, and celebrating the outstanding achievements of these extraordinary individuals in Africa.
The Humanitarian Awards Global has recognized individuals from various countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, The Gambia, Namibia, Botswana, Liberia, Uganda among several other African nations. Humanitarian Awards Global follows a rigorous selection process comprising of nominations, extensive background checks on their impact, activities, and evaluations by their board to determine the top 100 honorees for the year. The key criteria used in the evaluation process includes leadership drive, influence, consistency, and, most importantly, community and social impact.
If you wish to learn more about the journey of Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, follow @Rasha Kelej: (Facebook:, Instagram: , Twitter: and YouTube: )
Merck Foundation is transforming the Patient care landscape and making history together with its partners in Africa, Asia, and beyond, through:
• 1580 + Scholarships provided by Merck Foundation for doctors from 50 Countries in 39 critical and underserved medical specialties which includes One Year Diploma, 2 and 3 year Master Degree in Diabetes, Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Endocrinology, Respiratory Medicine, Acute Medicine, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Dermatology in Clinical Practice, Clinical Psychiatry, Medical Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Women’s Health, Urology, Family Medicine, Paediatrics and Child Health, Pain Management, Cardiology, Stroke Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Care of the Older Person, Cancer and Clinical Oncology, Emergency and Resuscitation Medicine, Laparoscopic Surgical Skills, Neonatal Medicine, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Primary Care Ophthalmology, Internal Medicine, Neuroimaging for Research, Obesity and Weight Management; ChM in General Surgery, Trauma and Orthopedics; MSc in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction and Embryology, Critical Care, Advanced Surgical Practice and In-Campus Clinical Training Programs in: Advanced ART and Fertility Specialists, Assisted Reproduction and Embryology and Oncology Fellowship.
Merck Foundation is also creating a culture shift and breaking the silence about a wide range of social and health issues in Africa and underserved communities through:
• 2500+ Media Persons from more than 35 countries trained to better raise Awareness about different social and health issues
• 8 Different Awards Launched annually for best media coverage, fashion designers, films, and songs
• Around 30 songs to address health and social issues by local singers across Africa
• 8 Children’s Storybooks in three languages – English, French, and Portuguese
• Pan African TV Program “Our Africa by Merck Foundation” addressing Social and Health Issues in Africa through “Fashion and ART with Purpose” Community
• 1000+ Girls from 15 African countries supported through scholarships or school items, annually.
• 9 Social Media Channels with more than 5 Million Followers.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.
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The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website. Please visit to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation ( ); Facebook ( ), Twitter ( ), Instagram ( ), YouTube ( ), and Flickr ( ).