Fred Ezeh, Abuja
An international non-profit organization, Merck Foundation, has produced a song to celebrate health workers in Africa who are in frontline fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The song entitled “My White Army” is aimed at acknowledging the great sacrifices of medical doctors, nurses and all other health workers during the coronavirus tough times in Africa and across the world under the initiative “Separated but Connected”.
A statement from the Foundation indicated that the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Rasha Kelej, produced the song in three languages – English, French and Arabic.
The statement also confirmed that the song was produced in collaboration with notable singers from 11 African countries, namely, A Pass from Uganda, Cwesi from Ghana, Kambua from Kenya, Mahmoud Al Leithy from Egypt, Nikki from Nigeria, Rozzy from Sierra Leone, Salatiel from Cameroon, Sean K from Namibia, Sunita from The Gambia, Tom Close from Rwanda, and Wezi from Zambia.
Speaking on the new song, Rasha Kelej emphasized the importance of an open appreciation for the people on the frontline of the fight, particularly the doctors, nurses and other health workers, for their efforts in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
‘We need to let them know how grateful we are for their care and intervention. I don’t want this to be a one-off thank you, but one that becomes a regular act of gratitude across our communities. I have heard stories of horrible behaviour against health workers, such as, landlords forcefully evicting them due to paranoia that they might spread COVID-19. It’s shocking, illegal and inhuman behaviour.’
She was optimistic that through the song in which singers representing Africa expressed love, respect and gratitude for doctors, nurses and health workers in the frontlines of coronavirus battle, other people would join in appreciating and respecting them to boost their morale.
‘This is the first time in Africa and maybe in the world that 11 singers from 11 African countries in three languages have participated in one song, to support the medical staff during such a period of a public health crisis,’ she said.
‘Obviously, this song is my personal contribution to COVID-19 response. But at the professional level, through the platform of Merck Foundation, I have raced to respond to coronavirus in Africa, in partnership with 18 First Ladies in four main focus areas which include; supporting the livelihood of thousands of casual workers and women during the lockdown, launching the Stay at Home’ Media Recognition Awards, launching an inspiring children storybook ‘Make the Right Choice’ to sensitize children and youth about Coronavirus and building healthcare capacity through providing online one year diploma for African doctors in Respiratory medicines and Acute Medicines.’