The Countess of Wessex visits Botswana and Malawi

Introduction

 

The Countess of Wessex, as Global Ambassador for the IAPB, visited Botswana and Malawi this week.

On Thursday 13th October, Her Royal Highness will celebrate World Sight Day in Malawi.

During her time in Malawi and Botswana, The Countess will see first-hand the lasting impact and legacy of the work undertaken by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust (QEDJT). The Trust was launched in 2012 with an aim to end avoidable blindness across the Commonwealth and beyond. The Countess served as Vice Patron.

Monday 10th October

At a local primary school in Botswana, The Countess of Wessex learnt about the nationwide programme, Pono Yame, which means “My Vision”.

The programme offer all school-going children in Botswana eye health screening, assessment and treatments, from glasses to surgeries. It is the first government-led programme of its kind in Africa, and is based on technology from Peek Vision, a digital diagnostic tool which was one of the initiatives funded by the QEDJT.

The Countess presented glasses to some of the school children who had participated in the programme.

"I am extremely proud that the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Trust played a vital part in funding the early testing of this amazing programme.

Her Late Majesty placed eyesight at the forefront of the work of the Trust, working across the Commonwealth.”

The Countess of Wessex met the President of the Republic of Botswana.

That evening The Countess attended a Chevening and Commonwealth Scholars and Commonwealth Points of Light Reception, celebrating the academic and community-based accomplishments of young people.

Tuesday 11th October

At a reception for local entrepreneurs at the Residence of the British High Commissioner, in Gaborone, The Countess of Wessex met entrepreneurs and sampled some of their products.

 

 

Wednesday 12th October

The Countess of Wessex travelled from Ethiopia to Malawi.

On arrival, Her Royal Highness met Sightsavers and the British High Commissioner.

The Countess will visited the Ministry of Health and was received by The Honourable Khumbize Kandod Chiponda MP, Minister for Health, who presented the Director of Clinical Services, the Principal Secretary for Health, and Director of Medical Services.

Thursday 13th October

The Countess of Wessex joined in with national World Sight Day celebrations in Malawi as The King sent his congratulations to the President of Malawi  to mark the country’s successful elimination of trachoma.

Her Royal Highness spent the day with people who have benefitted from transformative trachomatous trichiasis surgery, as well as the opticians, surgions and healthcare workers who have helped Malawi reach this milestone.

“Today is a day that I will remember for the rest of my life. Today is a day for celebration and happiness. Today we come together to witness a moment in history for Malawi. Today we say goodbye to blinding trachoma, on what is #WorldSightDay.” – The Countess of Wessex

That evening, Her Royal Highness presented His Majesty's letter to The President of Malawi at at the State House in Lilongwe.

Friday 14th October

On her final day in Botswana, The Countess of Wessex visited Kamuzu Central Hospital. 

Her Royal Highness met medical staff and heard about Sightsavers, inclusive eye health work and met project leaders and beneficiaries.

The Countess of Wessex was present as a patient reacted to seeing for the first time in three years after his bandages were removed following a cataract operation in the Ophthalmology Department.

Her Royal Highness also visited the hospital's neonatal and paediatric wards. 

Related content

A speech by The King for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Senedd.

Over the last twenty-five years, the Senedd has become more than a symbol. It has become essential to the life of Wales. As we look back over the last quarter-century in the...

11 July 2024

The King's message to The England Football Team following their EURO2024 semi-final victory.

My wife and I join all our family in wishing you the warmest congratulations on reaching the final of the U.E.F.A. European Championship - and in sending our very best wishes...

10 July 2024
News

Royal Week 2024

02 July 2024
The King during the Ceremony of the Keys

The Queen's Armed Forces Day Message 2024

You are a source of inspiration, reassurance and pride – and I salute you all.

29 June 2024

The King's speech at the Japan State Banquet

For over four hundred years, our nations have inspired each other, learning from each other’s experience and enriching our industries, cuisines and cultures with elements...

25 June 2024
News

Japan State Visit

25 June 2024
King Charles III laughs with Emperor Naruhito
Press release 24 June 2024

A Statement from Buckingham Palace

Read more
News

Trooping the Colour 2024

15 June 2024
The balcony at Buckingham Palace

Remarks by The King at Presentation of New Colours, Number Nine Company, Second Battalion, The Irish Guards

Every guardsman standing here today is thus the Heir and Successor to the great legacy, the historic customs and fine traditions of your forebears within the Battalion.

10 June 2024

A speech by The King at the D-Day National Commemoration British Normandy Memorial, Ver-sur-Mer, on the 80th anniversary of D-Day

On the beaches of Normandy, in the seas beyond and in the skies overhead, our Armed Forces carried out their duty with a humbling sense of resolve and determination: qualities...

06 June 2024

A speech by The Princess Royal at Bayeux War Cemetery to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings

80 years on, let their memory still live on in our hearts.

06 June 2024

A speech by The King at the UK's National Commemorative Event in Portsmouth to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings

The stories of courage, resilience and solidarity which we have heard today, and throughout our lives, cannot fail to move us, to inspire us, and to remind us of what we owe...

05 June 2024

A message from The King to the United Nations 4th International Conference on Small Islands Developing States

Your future is our future. Our islands, our oceans, our planet and, ultimately, all of us need bold and determined action.

28 May 2024

A speech by Her Majesty The Queen at the Charleston Festival 2024

Books and gardens are faithful friends to whom we can always turn to. They both have the ability to comfort, to cheer and to connect us with people and nature, reminding us...

16 May 2024
Press release 04 May 2024

Royal Patronages Review

Read more

A speech delivered by The Queen at a Reception to recognise those who support survivors of sexual assault and to relaunch of the Washbags Project

Thank you for sharing your stories, thank you for your kindness, thank you for not remaining strangers to those enduring the darkest of times, and, most of all, thank you for...

01 May 2024

The Queen's speech at a reception to recognise those who support survivors of sexual assault

Your stories and your experiences are vital tools as we seek to bring about change: to forge a world in which people, whoever and wherever they are, do not live in fear of...

01 May 2024