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First Lady salutes Lesotho in fight against social injustice

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By Gloria Masanza- Kanyang’wa, a contributor:

DELIVERING THE SPEECH — Mutharika

First Lady Gertrude Mutharika has commended the progress that the kingdom of Lesotho is making in fighting against social ills such as child marriages and teen pregnancies.

She said it was commendable because the kingdom has taken a holistic approach by including various sectors of society to fight against teen pregnancies, HIV and Aids and various challenges that women and girls are facing.

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She was speaking at a dinner hosted in her honour at the Lesotho State House in Maseru where she is on a state visit at invitation from Lesotho First Lady Madame MaIsaiah Thabane, wife to Prime Minister Thomas Motsoahae Thabane.

“We come here to learn Your Excellency how Lesotho is able to make great strides and is improving the welfare of women and children, and of all the mighty Basotho,” Mutharika said.

She said Malawi was eager to learn from the Basotho people.

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“Malawi is eager to embrace the best practices in as far as empowering women and girls is concerned, and I say this with passion because girls face serious challenges in my country,” she said.

The First Lady said girls drop out of school and get into early marriages putting their lives at risks of encountering health challenges including cancer and maternal health complications.

“For this reason, we have embarked on intensive campaigns to rescue girls from early marriages and take them back to school,” she said.

Mutharika said using radio listening clubs, women are able to share information and exchange ideas on how to improve their socio-economic conditions and how to address maternal health such as cervical and breast cancer among other issues.

She said the women have also been empowered to partner with health specialists to roll out cancer screening and testing activities across the country.

Prime Minister Thabane said although his country is not doing well in the fight against HIV and Aids, various interventions have been put in place to end child marriages and other social injustices.

“We have a responsibility to see to it that we succeed in saving our young children. Therefore, the Lesotho government has intensified the rolling out of paediatric antiretroviral therapy to ensure that the next generation is free from the HIV pandemic,” Thabane said.

The First Lady is in Lesotho at the invitation of Madame Thabane who visited Malawi in November last year.

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