It was all smiles for people in Mchinji yesterday when Nation Publications Limited (NPL) and its partners donated different items to Mchinji District Hospital through this Mothers Fun Run.
The annual event, which is organised by NPL—publishers of Nation on Sunday, The Nation, Weekend Nation, Fuko and Nation Online—this year has raised about K30 million, which was donated to the hospital in form of different items such as delivery beds and oxygen concentrators.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, NPL’s chief executive officer Mbumba Banda said it is unrealistic to expect government alone to improve women’s health; hence, her company realised the need to help through this initiative which started in 2005.
Banda said: “Malawi is faced with a great challenge to improve maternal health as stated in Millennium Development Goal number five, which targeted reduction of maternal mortality by 75 percent.
“We can only achieve that goal if we collectively champion the cause of women and children. This is a challenge that we at NPL realise cannot be achieved by government alone,hence our continued efforts to promote safe motherhood through engagement of the private sector, international organisations and individuals to participate in the fight.”
Before the handover ceremony, different organisations’ representatives ran for 20 kilometres—from Kamwendo Trading Centre to Mchinji Boma.
One of notable runners was Zodiak Broadcasting Station managing director Gospel Kazako who, alongside other runners, received medals of recognition from NPL.
NPL also gave different gifts of curios to all its partners.
Mchinji district health officer (DHO) Chimwemwe Banda thanked NPL and its partners for the donation. He commended NPL for mobilising resources, saying the donated items will help to solve some of the many challenges the hospital faces.
The DHO’s sentiments were echoed by the event’s guest of honour, United Nations (UN) resident coordinator Mia Seppo, who said the NPL initiative reduces avoidable maternal deaths.
“This is a commendable crusade and the UN would like to pay tribute to you [NPL] for your commitment in resource mobilisation to support women and newborns and thus contributing to reducing avoidable maternal deaths,” said Seppo.
Last year’s Mothers Fun Run took place in Mangochi and the NPL CEO has announced that next year’s event will be in aid of Mzimba District Hospital.
“As we go to Mzimba, we go with so many requests from other districts for us to go there. Our wish is to scale up the project to a situation when we can visit a district in all three regions each year,” said Mbumba Banda. n