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Opportunity for journalists: Merck More than a Mother Media Awards, Deadline extended to Sep 30, 2017

Opportunity for journalists: Merck More than a Mother Media Awards, Deadline extended to Sep 30, 2017

New Deadline
Deadline for submission of the stories and photos has been extended from august 30th 2017 to  30th September 2017.

Also read: Merck Foundation CEO visits Kenya to put smiles on Kenyan Infertile Women

Health reporters or any journalist passionate about compelling story telling can submit entries for “Merck More than a Mother Media Awards”. The Awards will honor and reward outstanding journalistic coverage that enhances the public’s engagement and understanding of infertility stigma and the need to change the social perception of it in African communities.

Also read:Amid agony that comes with an ’empty womb’, there is hope


Upto sh500,000 up for grabs for winners in various categories. see below:

 Prize Award

Category Journalists Student
Multimedia (TV) USD 5000 USD 3000
Print USD 1500 USD 1000
Radio USD 1500 USD 1000
Online USD 1500 USD 1000

Who can apply?

The Award is open to print, Radio, TV, photo journalists and media students whose stories appear in newspapers, websites, blogs, radio and television and that target the public.


Submission will be judged and recipients selected based on the following categories:

Print and Online

  • Newspapers or magazines
  • Online (blogs and/or social media)


  • Television (TV)
  • Radio


  • Newspaper or magazines
  • Online(blogs and /or social media)

Judging Panel

The judging panel consists of experts from diverse professional backgrounds including journalists, communications experts and media managers.

Word from the judges


  • The story must have been published any time before 30th  September 2017
  • Links to the stories must be submitted before the dead line.
  • Plagiarism of any kind will lead to automatic disqualification
  • Photo entries will only be limited to 2 photographs per journalist/student.
  • Applicants should be East African journalists and registered media students in East Africa.

Deadline for submission of the stories and photos is 30th September 2017.

Application Process

Applicants Name, Sex, Age, Media House or Institution (for students), Country and Contacts must be provided with the submission.

Applications can be submitted via mystory@merckmorethanamother.com


Visit THIS website to see example of the videos and different articles about infertile women, men and couples.www.merckmorethanamother.com

About the awards

“We have established this award to showcase and appreciate outstanding health journalism and to recognize individual professional journalists and students who have produced accurate, informative, and compelling stories about infertile women or couples,” emphasized Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer of Merck Healthcare and President of “Merck More than a Mother”.

The stories targeted are those of infertile women sharing their suffering and abuse by their husbands, families or communities due to their condition. It is very critical to share these stories with the public to build advocacy of the need to change such behavior and break the stigma around infertility in general.

It also will provide a platform for those who have sought treatment to advise others on the journey and support those undergoing infertility treatments.

The stories submitted should be in a form of articles with photos, or three to five minute videos recorded using smart devices.

See these  stories to give you hint of what is required.

Elishiba Njoki’s tears for missing child

About this story:

Elishiba Njoki’s dream after school was to have a nice wedding, a dream she realized when she met and got married to the man she believed would be the best husband and father to her children.
After the wedding she settled down with her dream husband and looked forward to a happy marriage coupled with four children. She also started tailoring to keep herself busy and make a little income to carter for her needs.
However, after three years she realized that she could not give birth. Her husband started to act suspiciously. In 2006, Elishiba went to Kijabe hospital for a medical checkup only to realize she was fine and healthy. The doctor advised her to come back with the husband whom it became clear had a fertility problem both of them were also HIV positive.

The doctor said that the medical condition could be rectified, but the husband was reluctant, in addition he refused to adopt a child with her. The husband continued with his promiscuous behaviour which led to his eventual demise. The husband’s relatives inherited the little assets the family had since Elishiba had not given birth to a child in spite of being married to one of their own.

Elishiba was contemplating committing suicide when she met another man who had lost his wife and they became close whilst leaning on each other for emotional support. They agreed to move in and have kids despite Elishiba having numerous challenges in her life. The new man loves her and has promised to support her goals and dreams.
She challenges couples to always talk and look for solutions together to overcome marital problems.


Couple shares how they overcame challenge of infertility

Mr. Byansi Adrian Ssemugga and Ms. Sawuya Ntongo, infertile couple sharing their story, how they became parents with the help of medical treatment. Fertility is shared responsibility.

Infertility affects men and women equally. Approximately one-third of cases of couple infertility is due to male factors, one-third to female factors and one-third relates to a combination of male and female factors or has no identifiable cause. Infertility should be viewed as an equal issue among couples.


Seek medical help if infertile- Kambini


Fifty-seven year old Grace Kambini popularly known as Mama Chips says she got married out of societal expectations, whereby women were expected to get married to earn respect from their communities. After nine years in her marriage she realized that she could not give birth. Both the husband and his relatives started abusing and insulting Grace. The abuse and insults extended into her home where she was tortured and frequently denied food for weeks at a time. The husband didn’t care about her woes. She later became diabetic with high blood pressure. She had nowhere to go. At her mother’s home everyone was dead and the in-laws simply did not care.

Also read:Amid agony that comes with an ’empty womb’, there is hope

The husband even asked Grace to go back to her late parent’s home and wake them up from their graves so that they could accommodate her. Grace says that she did not have money but she soldiered on. A year later, she missed her periods for a month. The following month she started bleeding excessively instead of getting her period. She was also seriously vomiting. She decided to seek expert medical advice to find out what was wrong with her. The doctor advised her to go for an operation since the fetus was developing in her fallopian tubes instead of the uterus.

It was successful. She later divorced her husband of ten years and started leaving alone with no one to support advise or help her. Life became harder with each passing day. After engaging in casual labour she started a small business to sustain herself.
She advises young couples to visit hospitals regularly and seek solutions as a couple. She says that if she would have known her status at an early age and had good advice her problem would have been rectified enabling her to give birth and enjoy life similar to other women and families in society.

Also read: Merck CEO visits Kenya to put smiles on Kenyan Infertile Women

Also read:Amid agony that comes with an ’empty womb’, there is hope