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Madame Mutharika Commends Media For Writing Positive Stories On Infertility

By Yamikani Yapuwa, MANA

Madame Mutharika with winners

First Lady Madame Prof. Gertrude Mutharika Wednesday commended the Media for playing a critical role in spearheading awareness on infertility issues in the country.

The First Lady, who is Patron of Beautify Malawi Trust (BEAM) as well as Ambassador for Merck Foundation in Malawi, made the remarks in Blantyre during a luncheon at Sanjika Palace for the three Malawian journalists who scooped awards in the Merck More than a Mother media competition in Africa as well as presented scholarship to a medical team to study in India.

“The stories that the journalists write have the potential to change people’s mindset towards infertility stigma.

“Therefore, let me congratulate Memory Kutengule from Mana, Grace Khombe from Zodiak and Charles Chindongo form MBC whose stories have landed them the Merck Media Awards alongside other African journalists. You have made Malawi shine.

“This also goes to their respective media houses, as this means they are creating a conducive environment for the journalists to disseminate right information,” Mutharika said.

She said as a result of the stories written and the awareness campaigns, more women are now going to hospitals seeking medical attention over issues of fertility.

“Even in the communities, those affected are now freely interacting with friends and relatives that would have side-lined them.

“Our traditional leaders can also testify that even broken marriages are reconciled due to the positive stories and awareness campaign on fertility.

“You are the voice of the voiceless; keep up the good work. As you are doing this, know that we are 100 percent behind you in the awareness on infertility issues,” Mutharika added

Principal Secretary for Information, Communications Technology and Civic Education, Thokozire Banda lauded the winning journalists for reporting on issues of infertility hence encouraging other journalists to report on infertility issues.

“The stories that have won the awards are outstanding and this demonstrates that there is more to work on other than politics,” she said.

Banda commended Merck Foundation and BEAM Trust for training the journalists on infertility issues as well as awarding the media.

Malawi News Agency Reporter, Memory Kutengule thanked Mutharika for presiding over the prestigious Merck More than a Mother award ceremony at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre.

“This is a great, memorable and historic moment for us. We do not take your good gesture for granted,” she said.

Kutengule described the award as a motivational tool to report more on infertility and women issues.

“We are geared to carry infertility messages across in order to sensitize the masses on the adverse effects of stigma and discrimination against couples with infertility condition and also encourage them to seek medical attention in time,” she said.

Meanwhile, Madame Mutharika has pledged to provide laptops to winners of Merck More than a Mother 2019Media recognition.

Kutengule, Chindongo and Khombe are among many journalists in Africa that have been awarded with cash prizes of US$ 500 each.

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