Multisectoral collaboration to help combat HIV and AIDS-Mutharika

By George Pemba in Beijing, China

Malawi’s First Lady said Tuesday it is the process of multisectoral collaboration through shared use of resources coupled with cross-cultural learning in technological and research-based knowledge that will help combat HIV and AIDS.

The First Lady, Professor Gertrude Mutharika made the remarks at the HIV and AIDS gathering of wives of Heads of State and Government held on the sidelines of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the China-Africa Cooperation at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.

Mutharika said Malawi is making huge gains from the friendship between the people of China and the people of Malawi in various sectors including health.

“It is for this reason that we in Malawi would like to commend our Chinese counterparts for creating a platform for enhancing the partnership and collaboration in the AIDS fight.

She said the University of Peking in China established a partnership with Malawian institutions through its department of Public Health where Malawi stands to benefit significantly from Chinese professionals. She added Malawian health workers would also continue to receive training in China.

“This will help reduce the patient-to-doctor ratio which has been high for some time in our country,” she said.

Mutharika said China is also providing support in form of medical equipment and medical supplies in various health facilities across Malawi, a development she said is contributing to Malawi’s vision of ensuring that every hospital and clinic should have adequate supplies of medicines.

Mutharika said: “I have committed and dedicated myself to championing the health of women on the understanding that good health has a bearing on the attainment of education and is positively related to good economic performance for individual households but also for the entire nation.

“I am happy to observe that our focus on promoting and prioritizing public health in Malawi resonates well with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s development cooperation strategy and the recent China’s Belt and Road Initiative which also recognizes health as an essential component within the “Healthy China 2030” vision.”

Speaking earlier when she opened the meeting whose theme was: ‘China and Africa: Join Hands for a Future Free of AIDS’, China’s First Lady, Peng Liyuan said combating HIV and AIDS is a global priority and that China and Africa have developed a productive cooperation in that battle. “We have old friends and new partners gathered here because we have a shared goal- “Join hand in hand to fight HIV and AIDS,” she said.

Tshepo Motsepe, wife of South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa said at the meeting: “It is critical to focus efforts and resources on prevention of the disease which is a global public health problem.

“Let us all work together to stand against the HIV infection across the African continent and across the world as the HIV epidemic has no boundaries, together we can make a difference in curbing the spread of HIV.” -Mana

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