Malawi’s First Lady Hails Chinese University For The Professorship Award (Read Full Acceptance Speech Here)

SPEECH BY H.E. DR. GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA,

FIRST LADY OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI DURING THE HONOURARY PROFESSORSHIP AWARD TO HER EXCELLENCY BY THE PEKING UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

 GOLDEN PEACOK, LILONGWE, 21st November 2017

The First Lady After Being Awarded

Let me begin by conveying my sincere appreciation to the Peking University School of Public Health for conferring me this award as Honourary Professor in Global Health.

I accept this professorship. And I accept it with all my heart!!

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

As a country, Malawi still has many health challenges.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic, the high maternal and child mortality, cervical cancer, malaria and several other diseases continue to hamper the general wellbeing of our people.

I am however proud that despite the prevailing challenges, as a nation we have taken steps towards  achieving good health status for our people.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is also pleasing to note that through the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA), we have waged a tougher war in complimenting governments’ efforts in the fight against the HIV pandemic, maternal and child mortality, cervical cancer and also our focus is on harnessing the demographic dividend for increasing access to youth friendly health services.

 

 Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me therefore, to dedicate this Professorship to all dedicated health workers in the country.

These are the people who are making our public health services tick.

I also want to celebrate today with all Malawians who work tirelessly in the fight against HIV and AIDS, maternal and child mortality and cancers.

And indeed, the people who strive to make our country cleaner, healthier and beautiful remind me that this professorship is not just about me.

This professorship is about those men and women who dedicate their life to make public health work in our country.

 

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

We all know that there is a strong link between education and health.

The best way to make a health nation is to educate and empower women.

That is why I have gone on a crusade for the girl child education.

I believe that educated girls are better able to make good decisions about their health lifestyles and choices.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our focus on promoting and prioritiozing public health resonates well with the President of the Peoples Republic of China, His Excellency 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.

As a country, Malawi stands to benefit from the Chinese Public health model.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are also here to unveil the partnership between Peking University School of Public Health and Malawi Participatory Rural Development Organisation (PRDO) Health Research and Training Collaborating Centre.

This therefore is a very important moment for Malawi.

It is in the spirit of our fight and the need to build a collective frontier that we welcome Peking University School of Public Health.

I know that this joint frontline will wage a tougher war in combating public health challenges in Malawi.

I am delighted to note that while the government has a lead responsibility, non-governmental organization (NGOs), civil society bodies are key actors in promoting public health.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me applaud the support that Malawi continues to get from the People’s Republic of China.

The results of our corporation are visible everywhere in this country.

Last year, I visited China, and I had a successful working meeting with the First Lady of China Professor Peng.

I am therefore confident that this event today is a door that has opened increased opportunities and benefits for both China and Malawi.

Our partnership with Peking University points will without doubt be a platform for more human resource capacity building exchanges.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

We stand to gain as Malawi as Peking University will impart knowledge, research skills, study findings and modern technology to us.

Our work on promoting public health will benefit from world class insights and we will serve our people much better.

That is why I am asking you all to join me in thanking professor Zheng Zhi-Jie and Professor Meng Qing-Yue, and your team for bringing Peking University to Malawi.

Allow me also to sincerely thank the government its commitment in strengthening the Malawi-China bilateral relations.

We are proud to have China for a friend.

As the Chinese proverb says, “A friend afar brings distant lands near.”

Once again, I accept the Award as Honorary Professor in Global Health.

Together we will make Public health work for our people.”

I thank you!

Leave a Reply