The Malawi Scotland Partnership (MaSP), our sister network in Malawi, was delighted to meet The HRH Countess of Wessex, GCVO Vice Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust to celebrate Commonwealth Day.
While in Malawi, the Countess of Wessex visited the Lions Sight First Eye Unit at Kamuzu Central Hospital where she saw progress being made to eliminate blinding trachoma and to build long term capacity in Malawi to deliver quality eye care services. Trachoma is an infectious disease and the fight to eliminate it has been the centrepiece of the Trust’s programme in Malawi since 2014.
After having no means of fighting the disease for hundreds of years the coordinated efforts of the Ministry of Health and partners supported by the Trust mean that now no one in Malawi need lose their sight. This success is the result of a major programme of mass drug administration, providing surgery for those in the advanced stages of the disease and community work to make the changes needed to stop the disease from spreading.
MaSP Chairman, Andrew Namakhoma, met HRH as part of a group of Malawians at the Commonwealth Day celebrations at the British High Commissioner's residence. The function was attended by both government and opposition leaders including the Speaker of Malawi parliament, Ministers and NGO representatives.
The Countess was briefed on Malawi’s longstanding ties with Scotland, and how MaSP works closely with the British High Commission in Lilongwe. The Countess gave a strong message of support for these bilateral links and the continuing close collaboration between MaSP, the British High Commission and DFID Malawi.