Visit by His Excellency, Professor Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi

Whilst the grant application was in preparation, we received the exciting news that His Excellency, Professor Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi, would be visiting Scotland after attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London. In particular, he would visit Glasgow on 23 April 2018 and, of even greater import, he would spend time at the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Glasgow (RCPSG) and at the University of Glasgow.

The President visited the RCPSG in the morning. As explained in earlier blogs, the RCPSG is a major partner in the MalDent Project and it was a great honour and privilege for Jeremy Bagg to be invited to provide a brief summary of the MalDent Project to the President, First Lady and assembled delegates. Other members of the Global Health Group delivered similar summaries of their work in the wide-ranging spheres of global citizenship espoused by the RCPSG.

Professor David Galloway, President of the RCPSG, welcomes His Excellency Professor Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi, and the First Lady to the College
Stuart Fergusson, a surgeon, delivers a summary of his outstanding work on global citizenship

His Excellency the President addressed the delegates on a wide range of issues and included in his speech his desire for Dental Medicine to be strengthened as a component of healthcare services in Malawi.

The President addresses the audience in the College Hall

Following their meetings at the RCPSG, The President and First Lady travelled to the University of Glasgow where they were welcomed by the Principal, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli.

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University Principal Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli welcomes The President and First Lady to the University of Glasgow

The Principal and other senior officers of the University hosted lunch after which the guests were invited to view the Malawi special collection from the University Archives.

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Dr Jelmer Vos, Lecturer in Global History, explaining aspects of the Archive Collection to the President

The visit concluded with a meeting involving staff from the University of Glasgow College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences who have ongoing academic activities within Malawi.  Jeremy Bagg was fortunate to be included in this group and once again had opportunity to address some different issues from those covered in the morning meeting at the RCPSG, particularly stressing the importance of developing an Oral Health Strategy for Malawi with a strong focus on prevention of oral and dental disease.

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This was an extremely positive and uplifting meeting. It involved many of those who have shown great support and encouragement to the fledgling MalDent Project and this blog will finish with some illustrated acknowledgements to thank these colleagues, both for help to date and support to come!

Professor John Briggs, Clerk of Senate and Dean for Global Engagement in Africa, has been wonderfully supportive of the MalDent Project. Here he is talking to His Excellency Kena Mphonda, High Commissioner to the Republic of Malawi, another strong supporter of the Project.

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Professor John Briggs and His Excellency Kena Mphonda in discussion in the Principal’s Lodgings

Professor Paul Garside, Professor of Basic Immunology and recently appointed Dean for Global Engagement (Africa and the Middle East) has been an endless source of encouragement and advice.

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Professor Paul Garside in conversation with the President after the MVLS College staff event

Professor Iain McInnes (Professor of Experimental Medicine / Director of Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation) and Professor Andy Waters (Professor of Parasitology) have both supported and encouraged the project. Their experience, together with that of Paul Garside, of working in Malawi and their willingness to share that expertise, has been of immeasurable benefit.

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(L to R) Andy Waters, Iain McInnes and Paul Garside – a tremendous team!

Alex Mackay, who works with Iain, Andy and Paul as the Administrator at the Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology is an absolute powerhouse. Her support on so many fronts for the MalDent Project has been amazing – thank you Alex, we really appreciate it!

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Alex Mackay chats with the President after the formal meeting

This had been a truly memorable event – captured in the smiles of those in this photograph, taken just before the President and First Lady departed …

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… and a lasting record of the visit as the President signed the Visitor’s Book in the Principal’s Lodgings.

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