Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima has condemned gender-based violence, which he said is on the rise in Africa and the country.
Chilima made the remarks at the College of Medicine in Blantyre when he opened the first ever Scora Africa Boot Camp (SABC) a federation of African medical students which started on Saturday.
The Vice-President said Malawi was among the top ten countries in Africa with high percentage of gender based violence (GBV).
“It is for this sole reason that medical experts will attempt to articulate strategies for eradicating gender based violence,” said Chilima
He said Malawi’s hosting of the first ever medical international conference involving six African countries is a clear testimony that the country’s visionary leadership has turned around the nation into an international destination.
Chilima said self respect was the key to the lasting solution of mutilations, rapes, defilements and other forms of physical and psychological abuses in Malawi and the continent as a whole.
The Vice President said any government in the world cannot tolerate GBV considering the crucial role that women play in raising human kind, urging delegates to the boot camp to develop meaningful and sustainable measures aimed at ending GBV.
University of Malawi Vice Chancellor, Professor John Saka applauded the College of Medicine students for maintaining the college’s motto dubbed: ‘Centre of excellence; yesterday, today and tomorrow’, noting that hosting the international conference was yet another milestone for institution.
Prof. Saka observed that international conferences were beneficial to the Malawi Government through the health sector. However, Saka urged the delegates to continue respecting women’s rights and speak against avoid GBV.
In his remarks, Parth Patel, President of College of Medicine Medical Students Association, said students at the college put much effort to emerge winners to host the SABC, noting that it was largely due to the impressive and well-thought proposal that saw such medical experts converging at the college.
“This successful hosting of the conference took efforts of the entire College of Medicine students to strategise and solicit funds for the first time in the history of UNIMA,” Patel said.
The conference which has drawn participants from 22 African countries including Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa is being conducted under the theme: ‘Gender based violence, a hidden health burden.’