The country’s First Lady, Professor Gertrude Mutharika has called on health staff in the country’s hospitals to show ultmost love when rendering their services to the sick in order to quicken their recovery.

“When a patient recognizes that the hospital staff do not show love when dealing with them, recovery too becomes difficult,” said the First Lady.

She was speaking Saturday when she presided over prayers marking the commemoration of International World Day of the Sick held within the premises of Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe.

The function was organized by Interdenominational Pastoral Care Centre (IPCC) under the theme “ Nayu mwana wanu; Nawa mayi ako”. The words were taken fromthe Bible where Jesus was telling his mother, Mary, to treat disciples of Jesus as her own children and disciples to treat Mary as their own mother.

While recognizing various challenges faced by staff in hospitals such as inadequate medical equipment, she stressed the need for them to treat the patients as though they were doing it to their own mother, brother or sister.

“We should not disrespect or belittle somebody just because they are sick, treat them with great love so that their dignity is maintained,” advised Mutharika.

Professor Gertrude Mutharika then commended different denominations in the country for tirelessly caring for the sick, both in hospital and in the home through prayers and provision of items that they need.

“This is very important because your prayers give the sick encouragement and hope,” observed Mutharika, adding that the gesture by religious denominations assist to quicken the process of recovery for the patients.

Some of the religious denominations present at the function included Anglican Church, CCAP, Catholic Church, Lutheran Church and Church of Nazarene among others.

Earlier, IPCC Chairperson, Bishop Bvumbwe of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Malawi lauded the presence of the First Lady at the function, saying she had always been at centre stage calling for women and girls to go for cervical cancer test.

“Let us give credit where it is due and let us criticize wisely where criticism fits,” he advised fellow leaders of different religious denominations present at the function and asked them to emulate the First Lady’s example of always caring for the sick.

The bishop said since its inception in 2003, IPCC has trained over 250 people to assist the health staff in caring for the sick, like encouraging patients to take their medication as required.

According to Bishop Bvumbwe, the idea to come up with an International World Day of the sick was first conceived by the Late Pope John Paul 11 of the Catholic Church in 1983, following his strong feelings about the sick and need to care for them.

Several denominations supported the idea and started commemorating the World Day of the Sick on 11th February, 1992 to cheer and support them. In Malawi, IPCC started its activities, including commemorating the day in 2005.

The function was marked by prayers, praise singing by different choir groups and a homily by Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe. The First Lady, Professor Gertrude Mutharika took the first reading in Chichewa from the Book of 2 Mafumu (Kings) 20:1-6 from the Holy Bible.

Madame Mutharika concluded the function by a visit to the children’s ward where she made a symbolic donation of items whose value had not been disclosed during the main function.

Some officials present included the Chief of Health Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr Charles Mwansambo, the Hospital Director of Kamuzu Central Hospital, Dr Jonathan Ngoma, the ruling party officials and the clergy among others.

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