Gertrude MutharikaThyolo, January 1: The First Lady Madam Gertrude Mutharika on New Year cheered patients in the maternity (ante-natal and post-natal) and male wards respectively at Chisoka Health Centre in Thyolo where she gave out assorted gifts as part of the New Year celebrations.


The gifts that were presented to 13 post natal, 15 antenatal mothers and 2 male patients comprised blankets, cooking oil, buckets, sugar, salt, maize flour, packets of soya pieces, laundry and bathing soap.

During the visit, the First Lady also donated assorted hospital equipment to the facility. They included ordinary and cellular blankets, syringes, water Jel burn dressing kits and Chlorine. 
Speaking in an interview after the visit, Madam Mutharika said she decided to cheer the patients at the health center because she wanted to celebrate the New Year with them and also share the little she had.

“The festive season is normally a time of sharing so I decided to come here, cheer up these patients and celebrate the joy that the New Year has brought all of us apart from sharing them what I have,” she said adding that she did not follow any other criteria in choosing Chisoka health centre.

“You are all aware that on Christmas day I was at Mangochi district hospital where I also cheered patients there so I don’t follow any criteria in choosing which hospital to visit,” said Mutharika.

On this note, Mutharika advised women in the area to deliver at health facilities as they were the only places where they could get proper medical care, antenatal and post-natal facilities and any relevant medical support.

She then asked the women to be in the forefront in ensuring that waste and litter was disposed properly in their areas to avoid occurrences of water-borne diseases such as cholera and other related diseases.

“Let us all work together in making sure that our communities and surroundings are clean. We can achieve this by refraining from dumping waste anyhow as these dumping sites are bleeding places for mosquitoes and other insects that can be harmful to our health,” said Madam Mutharika adding that it was her vision to see Malawi beautiful.   

In his words, Patrick Sandram who is the facility’s in-charge and a Clinical Officer commended the first lady for sparing her time on the New Year and cheered the patients at the facility.

“I would like to thank the first lady for visiting us today. We all know that she is always busy and could have been somewhere today but she chose to spare some time and visit us. We don’t take her visit for granted,” said Sandram.

Sandram then thanked madam Mutharika for donating the equipment at the facility which he said come at a right time as the hospital served a large population.

“Chisoka health center is the only facility that has a clinical officer and in addition we serve a larger population. We normally have more than 200 out-patients on a daily basis and 2 to 5 pregnant women deliver at the facility,” he said adding that these are some of the factors that permit the facility to have enough equipment.

Earlier, the First lady baptized a newly born baby girl with her first name “Gertrude.” Baby Gertrude was born on December 31 to Estere Pinifolo, 21, a mother of one.

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