Merck Foundation releases First Diabetes Animation film titled “Sugar Free Jude”


Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany launched The First Diabetes Animation Movie “SUGAR FREE JUDE” with the aim to Fight Diabetes and Raise Awareness about its Prevention and Early Detection, moreover, to Promote Healthy Lifestyle, amongst children and youth in Africa and beyond.


Watch the “Sugar Free Jude” Animation movie- click here

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation shared, “I am very happy to release the first animation film about fighting Diabetes “ Sugar free Jude” after rehearsing children book of the same story and for the same purpose, therefore, in partnership with the African First Ladies. Through our new animation video of our children storybook, we want to encourage our communities to stop sugar, exercise regularly, eat healthy and never smoke, this is the only way to eradicate diabetes and hypertension and reduce its complications.

All our animation films will help to take this message not only to children but also to adults, in a very entertaining way. We will soon launch it in French, Portuguese and local languages  too.”  

The animation movie is the adaptation of Merck Foundation’s children storybook ‘Sugar Free Jude’, a story of a schoolboy, Jude, whose daily life is affected when he is diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes due to his excessive sugary drinks and sweets intake on a daily basis. Jude was able to manage his health condition with the support of his family, friends and teachers at school and he became the advocate to fight diabetes in his school and community.

“I urge everyone to share our animation movie on possible platforms like Social Media, TV Stations, websites and waiting areas of Hospitals & Clinics, schools and clubs, to support our efforts in fighting diabetes in Africa every day,” added Senator Rasha Kelej.

Diabetes is an increasing problem in sub-Saharan African region. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, is becoming more prevalent owing to rising rates of obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and urbanization. As per the recent data, 24 million adults in the age group of 20-79 years live with diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa, which has been estimated to rise to 33 million and 55 million by 2030 and 2045 respectively, in addition to the high rate of undiagnosed cases.

Moreover, Merck Foundation Nationwide Diabetes Blue Points Program in partnership with the African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Medical Societies and Academia helps improve access to equitable and quality diabetes and hypertension care nationwide in African Countries.

“I am very proud to share that as a part of our Nationwide Diabetes Blue Points Program, out of our total 1570 scholarships that Merck Foundation provided, 735 scholarships of one-year Diploma and two-year’s Master Degree in Diabetes, cardiovascular preventive, Endocrinology, Cardiology and Obesity & weight management have been provided for doctors from 43 countries. This includes Master Course in Diabetes Management for French, Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries, ensuring geographical coverage to help transform the landscape of diabetes care in Africa and beyond”, emphasized Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Merck Foundation’s pan African TV program “Our Africa”, that is conceptualized, produced, directed, and co-hosted by Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and features African Fashion Designers, Singers, and prominent experts from various domains with the aim to raise awareness and create a culture shift across Africa, has special episodes dedicated for diabetes awareness and promoting healthy lifestyle.

Merck Foundation has also released three Songs in three languages named ‘NO more Diabetes, Sugar Free’ in English, ‘Dites non au Diabète’ in French and ‘Chega de Diabete’ in Portuguese. And has also released the remix of the three languages.

Moreover, Merck Foundation has announced the Call for Applications for their “Diabetes & Hypertension” Media, Film, Song and Fashion Awards 2023 in partnership with African First Ladies. The Four awards have been announced for Media, Musicians, Fashion Designers, Filmmakers, students and new potential talents in these fields. The theme of the awards is to promote a healthy lifestyle and raise awareness about the prevention and early detection of Diabetes and Hypertension. “I invite all our talented artists and media representatives to apply for these awards at”, concluded Dr. Rasha Kelej.


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