Malawi First Lady Professor Gertrude Mutharika has commended the progress that the kingdom of Lesotho is making in fighting against social ills such as child marriages and teen pregnancies.
She said it was commendable because the kingdom has taken a holistic approach by including various sectors of society to fight against teen pregnancies, HIV and Aids and various challenges that women and girls are facing.
She was speaking at a dinner hosted in her honor at the Lesotho State House in Maseru where she is on a state visit on invitation from Lesotho First Lady Madame Maessaiah Thabane, wife to Prime Minister Thomas Motsoahae Thabane.
She said African countries need to work together to fight their own challenges and together find common solutions that work best in their countries.
She said her visit will help the two countries to share ideas and best practices on how they can fight their common enemies, HIV and Aids and child marriages.
“We come here to learn Your Excellency how Lesotho is able to make great strides in improving the welfare of women and children, and of all the mighty Basotho,” said Mutharika.
She said Malawi was eager to learn from the Basotho people.
“Malawi is eager to embrace the best practices in as far as empowering women and girls is concerned, and I say this with passion because girls face serious challenges in my country,”
The Malawi First Lady said girls drop out of school and get into early marriages putting their lives at risks of encountering health challenges including cancer and maternal health complications.
“For this reason, we have embarked on intensive campaigns to rescue girls from early marriages and take them back to school,” she said.
Prof Mutharika said using radio listening clubs, the women are able to share information and exchange ideas on how to improve their socioeconomic conditions, how to address maternal health eg, cervical and breast cancer among other issues.
The women have also been empowered to partner with health specialist to roll out cancer screening and testing activities across Malawi.
On his part, Prime Minister Thabane disclosed that although his country is not doing well in the fight against HIV and Aids, various interventions have been put in place to end child marriages and other social injustices.
“We have a responsibility to see to it that we succeed in saving our young children. Therefore, the Lesotho government has intensified the rolling out of pediatric Anti-retroviral therapy to ensure that the next generation is free from the HIV pandemic’” said Thabane.
The First Lady is in Lesotho on the invitation of Madame Maessaiah Thabane, who visited Malawi in November last year.