Malawi Health Care Support (MAHECAS), a UK based charitable organisation which mobilise support for the health care system in Malawi at the weekend launched its 20 years centenary celebrations during a fundraising Dinner and Dance at Bexleyheath Marriot Hotel amid calls for a long-term assistance and unwavering support to the needy and the suffering in Malawi, especially cancer patients.
In his keynote speech, Malawi High Commissioner to the UK Bernard Sande expressed profound gratitude on behalf of the Malawi government to Mahecas for its continued support in providing for the health care sector and disaster relief in the last two decades saying it is no mean achievement for a voluntary organisation to survive such a long time.
“I would like to congratulate MAHECAS not only for surviving this long but, perhaps more importantly, for its achievements over the years. MAHECAS has played since its inception in implementing the government’s efforts in providing for the health sector and disaster relief in the country,” said Sande.
He added: “Over the years, MAHECAS has raised funds for medical supplies and equipment as well as health infrastructure in various parts of the country. The charity’s assistance has made a difference to the lives of many people in Malawi and it has saved some lives. MAHECS has therefore made a significant contribution to the country.”
‘Strength to strength’
The Malawian envoy explained that the ultimate objective of the Malawi government is to eradicate poverty and position the country on a path of sustainable development.
“This is a mammoth task that necessitates the unflinching support for all Malawians wherever they may be. This is something that all of you who make MAHECAS happen should be proud of… I would like to salute you (chairperson and the executive members including the founders) and all for upholding the founding spirit of the charity, against all the challenges, and for steering the organisation to great heights,” he said.
“MAHECAS has grown from strength to strength, with an increasing number of members, an increasing number of activities and with greater recognition and credibility. All this would not have been possible if it were not for the hard work, determination and total commitment of the organisation’s executive members both old and new,” added the Malawian envoy to London.
Sande however asked all Malawians, organisations and friends of Malawi in the UK to join hands and coordinate properly in fundraising activities to ensure that all the funds raised reach the intended beneficiaries.
“I note that there are many individuals and organisations that are raising funds. Let us properly coordinate this effort to ensure that all the funds reach the intended beneficiaries. For all those who are fundraising but they’re in doubt on how the funds should be remitted to Malawi, they can use channels like Malawi Association UK (MAUK) and MAHECAS to send the money,” he pointed out.
Sande emphasized that a special mention should go to MAUK for assuming leadership among Malawi Diaspora in raising funds for the floods victims.
Speaking earlier on MAHECAS chairperson, Dr. Milika Matiti said her organisation has grown throughout the years due to the ‘untiring support’ and unrelenting fundraising activities making it possible for the charity to continue fulfilling its commitments in Malawi over the years.
“As we kick-start our 20th anniversary celebrations tonight, I would like to thank all of you for your support. There is a misconception that MAHECAS is a grouping of health professionals that is not true. MAHECAS is for all of us. Each of you makes MAHECAS. We are all MAHECAS,” said Matiti.
MAHECAS was formed in February 1995 and has since then been a pioneering force in the UK in mobilising UK Diaspora Malawians in supporting the health care system in Malawi and has well established fundraising activities such as the annual Dinner and Dance, annual walk and international food tasting.
According to Dr. Matiti, MAHECAS is currently working on a cancer project in Malawi, which is a growing concern in the southern African country causing tremendous morbidity and mortality due to lack of comprehensive care.
“Almost 9,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed every year,” said Dr. Matiti. “However, this may be a gross underestimation due to lack of good cancer diagnostic services, minimal early detection and lack of equipment and database. Only 18 percent of all reported cancers had pathological confirmation,” explained Matiti.
Matiti said MAHECAS has embarked on a new programme to support the Malawi Cancer Programme adding that the UK based charity will support interventions covering prevention, (awareness) early detection (screening) treatment and palliative care.
She also hailed Nyasa Times for its publicity to Mahecas events.
The Dinner and Dance was organised by Malawi Queens Health and Health Education Project (MQHEP) a newly established charitable trust that has transformed from a social network grouping on Facebook into a charity, on behalf of MAHECAS as part of the ongoing 20th anniversary celebrations fundraiser events.
Making her speech MQHEP chairperson Emily Kamwendo-Phillips said the Malawi Queens decided to take it upon themselves to do something for ‘Mother Malawi.’
Said she: “Our country needs us more than ever. We need to come together and do something for our country. We are pleased that the response has been so overwhelming,” added Phillips.
During the evet hosted by MC Chijota from Pamtengo radio had Scotland based musician former Nyasa Gurus frontman and lead singer Brave M’nyayi otherwise known as Black Seed who is also an actor, a former member of Nanzikambe Arts Theatre, entertained the patrons with his music which includes the hit song Tumpale.
There was also a fashion show with Malawian fashion designers who among them included London based Phyllis Chipojola aka ‘Sweetjuice’ who displayed her fashion line designs and the garments were auctioned.
The event was covered live on Radio 247 Malawi and Power Ace online radios.
Kent based Malawian who attended the Dinner and Dance; Sugzika Mabvi Ghankhunzi Phiri said it was well organised and fit for the purpose.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :