First Lady of the Republic of Malawi and Patron of Beautify Malawi (BEAM) Trust, Professor Gertrude Mutharika, on Thursday 19 December 2019 officially launched the Chinese Medical Team Outreach Programme at Phokera Health Centre in the Lower Shire district of Nsanje. A first of its kind public health innovation that aims to bring to the marginalized rural masses expertise and high-quality medical services free of charge, the initiative comes to reality following Professor Gertrude Mutharika’s BEAM Trust strong working relationship with the Chinese Embassy.
Speaking during the colourful and historic ceremony, Professor Mutharika thanked the People’s Republic of China through their Ambassador His Excellency Liu Hongyang, for sending the team doctors and being committed to dispatch them to where they are needed the most – local rural settings of Malawi. The First Lady said the programme will ensure that Chinese medical team brings clinical services to treat various illnesses to people at Phokera and surrounding areas at no cost.
“This is in line with our aim to achieve universal health coverage including to those in vulnerable situation,” she said.
Mutharika said the programme, apart from providing medical assistance to people at Phokera area will also be implemented in Nsanje district hospital and Mwanza.
She also thanked the Chinese Ambassador for the donation of various items to Nsanje Lalanje Constituency including a heavy-duty power generator to Phokera Health Centre. The First Lady reiterated Beautify Malawi Trust’s commitment in supporting projects related to public health improvement, sanitation, reproductive health, preservation of the environment and education, among others.
‘Childless doesn’t reduce one’s humanness’
Professor Mutharika urged the gathering and all Malawians at large to desist from ridiculing families and individuals that are bearing the burden of infertility. She emphasized that a man or a woman that does not bear children remain human beings worthy of their dignity and acceptance in their societies. The First Lady committed that BEAM will work with the Ministry of Health and other players to embark on specialized projects that will aim at addressing and treating infertility so that some families facing lack of children can be able to be assisted.
In his remarks, China Ambassador to Malawi, His Excellency Liu Hongyang said Chinese government is committed to improve health well-being of Malawians by providing necessary support in the health sector.
“We will continue supporting Malawi with medical support and medical services. Suffice to mention that so far, we have deployed 145 Chinese medical specialists that are providing health services in Malawi’s major referral hospitals,” he said.
‘China, a model of primary healthcare’
In his address at the ceremony, Dr Dan Namarika, Secretary for Health and Population in the Ministry of Health and Population noted that China has always been a model in public health and primary healthcare. He appreciated the honour that it is for the Peking University of China to have recognized the BEAM Patron, Professor Gertrude Mutharika with an Honorary Professorship because of her work in Public Health. The Secretary noted that a closer walk with the People’s Republic of China would help Malawi eliminate most non-communicable diseases like Malaria.
Dr Namarika announced that Mzuzu Central Hospital will soon have their first CT-Scan machine courtesy the People’s Republic of China. Construction works have already started and in the new few months the Minister of Health and His Excellency Ambassador Liu Hongyang would be ready to launch the project.