Malawian midwife gets Queen's recognition

Salima receives the award

In 2008, Charity Salima left her job as a nurse-midwife after working for nearly 20 years to set up a clinic in the populous township of Area 23 in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe.

Achikondi Women's Centre would help expectant mothers and provide basic medical care to the surrounding community she thought.

“Here in Malawi, it takes a village to raise a child, so I thought of doing something to my community because I needed to give back to it. We have services like antenatal, postnatal, labour and delivery, family planning an screening for Cervical cancer. We also do prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV,” says Salima, now 60.

When her clinic can not handle a case they refer it to the government hospital.

"We have a lot of challenges. We encounter administrative costs, because as you know this is a community clinic, sometimes we tell people to contribute a little something,” she adds.

Todate, her clinic has delivered 8,000 babies with no record of death, in a country where maternal and child deaths are still relatively high.

An estimated 60 babies are ushered into the world monthly at the clinic with 1,500 patients attended to.

Her selfless achievements have caught the eye of the Queen Elizabeth II of England.

In a tweet, the British High Commission to Malawi announced that Salima, the Florence Nightngale of Malawi has be awarded the Commonwealth Points of Light award for the difference she is making in her community.

Receiving the award Salima said if felt good to be honoured for something she's passionate about.

Former Scottish first minister Jack McConell was among the first to congratulate Salima.

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Last year, the award went to Corled Nkosi who developed a hydroelectric power plant using scrap metal to supply electricity to people in his area in Mzimba.