The Maternity Worldwide and African Child Trust have partnered First Lady Getrude Mutharika in her continued efforts to promote girl-child education, encourage investment in health by raising awareness on the need of cervical cancer screening, maternal health awareness and voluntary HIV testing.
Maternity Worldwide Executive Director, Adrian Brown, and African Child Trust Chief, Kunle Onabolu, disclosed this when they had an audience with Mutharika on Tuesday in London.
Brown said although his organisation is already working in Malawi, they will work with the First Lady who will work as an ambassador in helping women and girls access the high quality maternal healthcare they need to be able to give birth safely.
On his part, Onabolu said his organisation will support the First Lady’s efforts to provide scholarships to needy girls and building hostels for girls across the country, so as to encourage girls to be completing secondary school education.
Speaking during the meeting, Mutharika commended the organisations for the commitments, saying education for the girl child is one of the key factors in eliminating poverty, reducing the contraction and effects of preventable diseases and enhancing nation building endeavors on a larger scale.
The First Lady reiterated that she decided to focus her energies through Beautify Malawi Trust (BEAM) on the girl child as an anchor to real development.
“My passion is to see that all children in Malawi are educated. Unfortunately, the most school drop outs have been young girls due to unconducive environments for learning.
“Policymakers, researchers, academics and leaders in the health sector have all come to agree on the notion that educating the girl child is one of the surest ways of attaining meaningful development,” she said.
On HIV and Aids Mutharika, who is also the vice-president of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV and Aids (Oafla)said Malawi was the first country globally to endorse the Unaids 90.90.90 Campaign, a United Nations plan aimed at ending the spread of HIV by 2020 and eliminate the disease altogether by 2030.
“Our new National Strategic Plan on HIV and Aids clearly outlines how by 2020 we will ensure that 90 percent of people living with HIV know their sero-status, 90 percent of those with HIV are receiving treatment and 90 percent of those on treatment are virally suppressed,” she said.
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