Several former world leaders under the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health (GLC) started arriving in the country on Tuesday to support the country’s maternal health initiative.

Former president of Republic of Ireland, Mary Robinson, who chairs the GLC arrived at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, alongside former president of Latvia, Vaira Vike Freiberga and former South African deputy president, Phunzile Mlambo Nguka.

Scottish singer and HIV activist, Annie Lennox, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, Musimbi Kanyoro, former Minister of Health for Botswana, Joy Phumaphi are also on the delegation and expected in the country by tomorrow.

Speaking to journalists at the airport, Robinson said her group was impressed by the efforts of the Malawi government in tackling maternal health challenges.

“We are here because we are very supportive of the steps taken by the president on matter of maternal health. I am also a personal friend of President Banda.

“Family planning, maternal and child health, and reproductive rights are issues of great importance to me. That is why we are here to support the efforts of the people of Malawi, and of our colleague, President Joyce Banda,” Robinson said.

Former Latvian president Freiberga said Malawi’s successes in maternal health could be lessons for other countries.

She added that the visit is an opportunity for the country to help woo the outside world to support its maternal health goals.

While in the country the leaders are expected to hold talks with Banda, visit several health centres including a safe motherhood initiative and social cash transfer programme in Balaka and Ntcheu respectively.

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