Retired nurse and midwife Charity Salima was yesterday awarded Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Commonwealth Point of Light Award for her voluntary support to her local community through health service provision.
Salima, 60, founded Achikondi Women’s Clinic in Lilongwe’s Area 23 in 2008 where she single-handedly delivered 8 000 babies without any death.
Handing over the award in Lilongwe on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, acting British High Commissioner Gary Leslie noted that maternal and newborn health is a big challenge.
“Maternal and newborn health is still a big challenge in the country and in some parts of the Commonwealth due to the slow pace of scaling up community-based care and human resources shortages. I hope Charity’s life of service and this award will inspire others to contribute towards tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time,” he said.
In her acceptance speech, Salima said she was grateful for the Queen’s gesture, adding that it will inspire her to continue supporting women and children.
“The story of this clinic goes as far back as 2002 when I helped a woman in home birth. After that incident I was determined to support the women in this community to get quality medical care,” she said.
Salima said determination and the will to make a difference in the lives of women pushed her to set-up a community clinic.
The Points of Light Award recognises outstanding volunteers whose service is making a difference in their communities and whose story can inspire others to innovative solutions to social challenges in their own communities and beyond.