Spurred by the sheer need to bridge the healthcare gap for Malawians both in the UK and Malawi, a group of Malawian nurses based in the Queensland have come together to help make a difference to the populace in the two countries.
Against this background, the first ever Malawian-UK Nurses Association has been launched with both the United Kingdom (UK) and the Malawi government lauding the establishment of the grouping as a right step towards the contribution of having a robust health system in the two countries.
Participating in the virtual launch on Saturday, UK’s Minister for Africa James Duddridge said the association had the full blessing of the UK government and that Westminster appreciates the role that Malawian Nurses play in the UK.
“I am delighted with this association and as a government we recognize and appreciate your significance in the health sector here in the UK as well as in your homeland Malawi,” said Duddridge.
Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima, who officially launched the Association commended the Malawi diaspora community in the UK for the initiative.
The Veep said the fact that they are Malawians in UK, it does not make them less Malawians – urging them to be involved in the development of Malawi.
“Through the Malawi Diaspora Engagement Policy, we seek to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between Capital Hill and the diaspora community.
“The underlying goal in this relationship is to mainstream and empower Malawians living abroad to effectively make significant contributions to the development of the country,” said Chilima.
The Vice President called on the Association to familiarize itself with the Malawi Health Policy which he said about is an overarching framework to guide the achievement of the health sector goals in Malawi.
“These goals include improving the health status of all Malawians, providing adequate financial risk protection and improving client satisfaction,” said Chilima.
Earlier, Malawi’s Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda shared with the association what she described as the devastating Covid 19 situation in Malawi.
The Minister said such Associations give hope that the government has reliable partners it can reach out to for expertise and technical assistance as the country battles the third wave of the virus.
President of the Malawian UK Nurses Association, Charity Gladstone said among other mandates the Association will be fighting for rights of Malawian Nurses in the UK on issues of promotion and career progression which said is not automatic for them as the diaspora.
Comedian Dalitso Chaponda spiced up the virtual launch with comedy picking on the current looting.
He sent the online participants into stitches when he wondered that instead of stealing espionage and information from South Africa all what Malawian diplomats thought of worth stealing was but booze.