Global Leaders Council hails Malawi govt on reproductive health success

Chairperson for Global Leaders Council (GLC) for Reproductive Health who is also former president of Ireland Dr. Mary Robinson has expressed satisfaction on Malawi’s effort in the area of maternal health and safe motherhood.

Malawi on Tuesday welcomed high-level members of the GLC to Lilongwe who have come to tsupport President Joyce Banda’s Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood, and to promote the need for increased funding from donor nations for reproductive health services for Malawi and other countries in the developing world

Briefing journalists upon arrival at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe on Tuesday afternoon with a six-member GLC delegation, Robinson said her organisation’s members were in the country to appreciate and support government’s efforts in maternal health and safe motherhood programmes.

Foreign Affairs Min. Ephraim Mganda Chiume (l) welcomes Dr. Mary Robinson (2nd l), Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (3rd l) and Dr. Vair

President Robinson will join five of her colleagues on the GLC in meeting with Malawi’s top leader and in visiting communities and clinics on the frontlines of the battle to ensure that the demand for family planning services are met in Malawi.

The other leaders, advocates and philanthropists on the tour  are Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, Annie Lennox, award-winning Scottish singer and HIV activist, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Deputy President of South Africa, Joy Phumaphi, former Minister of Health for Botswana and Vice-President of the Human Development Network of the World Bank, and former Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

“Family planning, maternal and child health, and reproductive rights are issues of greatimportance to me,” said President Robinson. “And that is why we are here to support the efforts of the people of Malawi, and of our colleague, President Joyce Banda.”

As GLC members we want to listen to the success stories, support and reinforce government’s efforts on the subject,”

She said the delegation had also come as personal friends of President Banda whom Robinson described as a “long time and active member” of the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health.

“GLC is not for women leaders only, we also have men as members,” said Robinson, adding, “but with the inclusion of influential women in the world, we believe that we will bring a particular understanding of the matter at hand.”

On Thursday, the GLC chair and her delegation will, together with President Banda, tour a safe motherhood project in Senior Chief Kwataine’s community in Ntcheu; and later in the evening, President Banda will host the GLC delegation to dinner at Kamuzu Palace.

The GLC for Reproductive Health is a program of Aspen Global Health and Development at the Aspen Institute aimed at increasing the momentum at the highest political levels for improved reproductive health world over.

Malawi was one of four recipients of the 2012 Resolve Award, a highly competitive, non-monetary prize given by the Global Leaders Council to recognize innovative and workable approaches by governments that are striving to achieve universal access to reproductive health. In addition to Malawi, the other 2012 winners were Ethiopia, Nepal, and Rwanda, with a special mention given to Yemen.

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