Merck donates half a million dollars to combat maternal mortality in Haiti
KIRKLAND, QC, Nov. 12, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Merck is pleased to announce a grant of $500,000 to the Centre de coopération internationale en santé et développement (Center for International Cooperation in Health and Development or CCISD) based in Quebec City. The donation is part of Merck for Mothers Global Giving Program which aims to support philanthropic organizations that are dedicated to improving maternal health and, ultimately, help reduce the number of women who die or suffer disabilities from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. Approximately 20 projects were chosen around the world, including CCISD which will be directing the funds towards a maternal health project targeting the Artibonite communities of Anse Rouge, Terre Neuve and Ennery in Haiti.
"We are very pleased to be supporting CCISD's new program aimed at strengthening maternal health services in Haiti," said Cyril Schiever, President and Managing Director of Merck Canada Inc. "CCISD does impressive work around the world promoting both primary care and women's health and aligns perfectly with the objectives of the Merck for Mothers program, which is dedicated to creating a world where no woman has to die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth."
The CCISD has been implementing international health projects for over 25 years. Starting in January 2013, they will direct the Merck for Mothers grant to a project complementary to their 'Integrated Management of Maternal and Child Health' program - also known as PRISMA - in the Artibonite region in Haiti. "Haiti has the highest maternal mortality rate in the northern hemisphere1. Funding to provide access to services and medical supplies is essential to help save lives in this country," said Robert Beaudry, Executive Director of CCISD. "Of all those burdened with the lack of access to proper healthcare, some of the saddest stories are about the preventable deaths of mothers and newborns."
According to Martine Bernier, Project Director of the PRISMA program in Haiti, "Only in the intervention area of the project that will be supported by the Merck for Mothers grant, over 1,600 women become pregnant every year. The cost and accessibility of prenatal and delivery services can be huge obstacles to Haitian mothers. This much-needed donation will help provide better access to services and, ultimately, lower the complications and mortality rates of women and newborns in this area."
About Merck for Mothers
Over the next decade, it is estimated that nearly three million women will die from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth globally. The majority of these deaths are preventable. When a woman dies, the ripple effect on families and communities is enormous. Her baby is more likely to die before the age of two and her other children are more likely to leave school, suffer from poor health, and die prematurely.
Merck for Mothers is a 10-year, half-billion-dollar initiative to create a world where no woman has to die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Drawing on the company's history of discovering innovative, life-saving medicines and vaccines, Merck for Mothers is applying the company's scientific and business expertise to reduce maternal mortality around the world.
In order to achieve our goals, our approach focuses on three main pillars: product innovation, accelerating access to maternal health solutions and services, as well as advocacy and awareness.
The Merck for Mothers Global Giving Program will focus on helping countries reduce maternal mortality and improve maternal health with the overall aim of supporting the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5, which calls for a 75% reduction in maternal mortality and universal access to reproductive health by 2015.
For more information, please visit www.MerckforMothers.com
Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer and animal products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information about our operations in Canada, visit www.merck.ca.
Forward Looking Statement
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1 Médecins sans frontières, 2012. MSF in Haiti. Accessible en ligne : [http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/country.cfm?id=6248&cat=country-page&ref=tag-index]
(consulté en octobre 2012)
Image with caption: "Jennifer Chan, Vice-President, Communications and Policy, Merck Canada; Robert Beaudry, Executive Director, CCISD and Martine Bernier, Project Director of the PRISMA program in Haiti. (CNW Group/MERCK)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121112_C7099_PHOTO_EN_20516.jpg
SOURCE: MERCKFor further information:
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418-656-5525 ext. 8319
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418-648-1233 ext. 232/514-843-2345