St John Scotland visits Malawi

Following their attendance at Grand Council in South Africa, the Lord Prior and his wife (Sir Malcolm and Lady Ross) the Sub Prior (Mr John Mah) and the Prior of Scotland and his wife (Major General Mark and Sue Strudwick), accompanied by the St John Scotland Executive Director (Angus Loudon) paid a short visit to St John Malawi on 27 and 28 May 2017. The visit was an opportunity to meet the St John Malawi team, and visit the projects currently being funded by St John Scotland.

On Saturday 27 May, the visitors went to see two projects in Blantyre while St John Malawi staff and volunteers were working with the communities. The first was the Primary Health Care (PHC) programme, at Mbayani which focuses on primary prevention of illness in poor households, and on improving the post-natal health of mothers and babies, through inoculation of both mother and baby and monitoring of the development of the child. This programme is a joint partnership between St John Malawi and the Malawi Ministry of Health Board.

Secondly, the group met representatives of the St John Malawi Committee, including its President, Mr James Naphambo, and Committee members Margaret Ali and Dr Dick Chalemba, with a brief by the local District Health Officer. Thereafter, the group met those delivering the Mother and Baby programme at Ndirande, which is focused on pre-natal education.

Both programmes have resulted in a decrease in infant mortality, and women in childbirth, along with a greater recognition of the benefits of a healthy diet, hygiene, and emotional support. The engagement of fathers has also improved significantly.

In thanking St John Malawi for the visit, the Prior said,

I am immensely impressed with all that I have seen, and how life-changing even a modest contribution such as that from St John Scotland can be. St John Malawi are to be congratulated for all that they do, while the warmth of their welcome was outstanding.

Text and image courtesy of St John Scotland