The President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika, has praised the Anglican Church in the country, commending it “for the social services you provide to Malawians”. Speaking at celebrations to mark the 120th anniversary of St Martin’s Anglican hospital in the Mangochi district of southern Malawi, President Mutharika said: “You have some of the best secondary schools in this country. And you provide dependable health services to the people. Keep on with your mission. Maintain your prophetic role. . . As Government, we appreciate the role you play in the development of this country.”
St Martin’s was founded in 1898 as a single-nurse facility, providing basic medical care for missionaries and their families. Within five years it had developed and was providing care for 350 patients a month. It has continued to grow, and today, it serves a population of around 40,000 people at its site and through a mobile medical unit. Located on the banks of Lake Malawi, St Martin’s Hospital provides maternity and paediatric services, and has an operating theatre and orthopaedic facilities. It is part of the health care facilities of the diocese of the Upper Shire, part of the Anglican Church of Central Africa.
“As we celebrate St Martin Community Hospital today, let me congratulate the Hospital staff, the Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire and all of the partners that support the Hospital”, President Mutharika said. “You are doing a very good job. Keep up the work!
“As partners, we are making real progress in improving health services in this country. We are reducing the number of deaths of women associated with pregnancy and child birth. We are reducing the number of deaths of children under the age of five years from preventable causes. We are reducing the number of deaths from high burden infectious diseases such as HIV and Aids, malaria and tuberculosis, among others.
“Above all, together, we have improved the life expectancy of Malawians from 37 years to 62 years during the time the DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] has been in Government from 2004.”
“This celebration tells us that whatever we see in this country, there is a history behind it. There is a beginning for everything. But very often, we take things for granted because we do not care about where we are coming from. We take what we have for granted. We take what we are for granted. We take everything for granted because we do not often care about those who struggle and suffer for things we have and now enjoy.”
He said that the government and church shared “one common goal”, saying: “We both serve God’s people.”
The President added: “In fact, I personally believe that leading a country is a calling from God. Just as David was called by God, I count my service to my country as my service to God. But every calling by God is a journey of trials. That is why I believe in prayers. I believe in prayers and every morning I pray. And I find it wise to forgive.”
He said that the government had improving infrastructure in the Mangochi district, including more piped water, a new technical college and a new road from Liwonde to Mangochi. The government was going to do more, including a new road from Mangochi to Makanjira, a new five-star hotel and an international airport.
“I promise what I do. And I do what I promise”, he said. “Together, let us develop this country! Together, let us love on another!”