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Published On: Sun, Oct 7th, 2018

Melania Trump gets ‘take-home message’ from protesting US citizens in Malawi

American citizens in Malawi this week staged a peaceful protest telling US First Lady Melania Trump to return home and persuade President Donald Trump to reverse the proposed health-care budget cuts to poor countries that include Malawi.

    

At least 10 US citizens held a peaceful protest along the road used by Mrs Trump’s motorcade to enter Lilongwe from the Kamuzu International Airport. The US First Lady was in Malawi for just five hours as part of a whirlwind continental tour.

The protesters lined up along the road waving placards with messages critical of Trump’s decision to cut health care funding to African countries that include Malawi. Group spokesperson Rachel Pope said as Americans living in Malawi, they had a “take home” message for the US First Lady.

Spokesperson for the protesters, Rachael Pope, said the Americans living in Malawi had a ‘take home’ message for the US First Lady:

“Our message is that Melania Trump should return home and persuade President Trump to reverse the serious budget cuts his administration has proposed concerning poor countries like Malawi.

“We see, first hand, in Malawian hospitals, the shocking effects that these budget cuts may ultimately have. Up to 28 000 maternal deaths in this country can be prevented. Thousands of children, women and HIV and Aids patients could be saved from death if, for example, the Pepfar [President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief] funding were not reduced,” said Pope.

Pepfar was established in 2003 by former US President George W Bush to help African countries cope with the HIV/AIDS emergency across the continent.

However, the Trump administration has proposed a raft of austerity measures to curtail US funding of various programmes aimed at helping poor countries across the world.

Mrs Trump was in Malawi for a few hours after arriving from Ghana. She has since proceeded to Kenya and Egypt as part of her solo Africa tour. In Lilongwe, she visited a school that is funded by the United States Agency for International Development.

About the Author

- I am a Zimbabwean journalist with 18 years experience working in print broadcast and online media. From Gaborone in Botswana, I cover the African continent for South African-media organisations Defence Web and Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism. I am also a correspondent for African Aerospace (UK), the Botswana Gazette and The Zimbabwe Standard.

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