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 endeavours on a larger scale; this is according to First Lady Getrude Mutharika.
She said this when she met with representatives of the African Child Trust and Maternity Worldwide led by Dr Kunle Onabolu and Dr. Adrian Brown on Tuesday in the United Kingdom.
The First Lady reiterated on why 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.
“Through BEAM Trust, I am providing scholarships to the needy girls and building hostels for girls across the country, so as to encourage girls to be completing secondary school education,” she said.
Policy makers, 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.
Informed by the foregoing notion, the First Lady highlighted several of the interlocking areas which are interventions that go hand in hand with the welfare of girls and their empowerment in that same vein.
She pointed out the progress that Malawi has made in certain areas of these interventions. These include reduction of child mortality by two thirds through implementation of several programs.
Among these programs is construction of maternal waiting homes for pregnant women and their guardians so as to ensure they receive clinical attention efficiently and on time.
The First Lady also mentioned the training of community midwifery assistants (CMAs) who have increased awareness and service delivery among women in communities.
The communities further get involved through mobilization of traditional leaders who are the agents of change in Malawi society.
On HIV/AIDS Madame Mutharika 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% of people living with HIV know their sero-status, 90% of those with HIV are receiving treatment and 90% of those on treatment are virally suppressed,” said she.
She, however, observed that despite the gains made in other areas Malawi is still paying close attention to increasing treatment among children born with the virus. Currently, only three out of ten HIV positive children are receiving treatment, a situation the First Lady called unacceptable.
In addition, she said with modern technologies, Malawi should completely eliminate mother-to-child-transmission. As Vice President of Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA),
Madame Mutharika said she has embarked on programs in Malawi that promote girl child education, prevent teenage and unwanted pregnancies, encourage investment in health by raising awareness on the need of Cervical cancer screening, and voluntary HIV testing.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :