Hold on to your dreams, Harry tells teenagers on Malawi health centre visit

The Duke of Sussex told a group of young people to “hold on to your dreams” as he visited a clinic in a remote village in Malawi.

Harry sat down for a private chat with the teenagers in the rural heartland of the African country, after learning about the work of medical staff and other employees at the Mauwa Health Centre.

Sitting outside but under cover from the searing sun, the discussion was supposed to be about sexual health but also touched on other topics the duke is passionate about, including climate change and conservation.

Royal visit to Africa – Day Nine
Crowds welcome the Duke of Sussex to the Mauwa Health Centre in Blantyre, Malawi (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

A health official said: “They asked him what challenges he faced when growing up and he did have challenges but he said they were not similar as the context was different.

“He told the young people to ‘hold on to your dreams’ and he urged them to show kindness, empathy and work together.”

Harry had travelled to the village of Blantyre to see an innovative project funded by the US and UK Governments which is ensuring that vaccines, drugs and other treatments are more readily available.

The pharmacy-in-a-box – a prefabricated, solar-powered and air-conditioned storage facility for medicines – means drugs are kept at the right temperature, are secure, and that the right amount is on hand.

Royal visit to Africa – Day Nine
Harry was shown inside a pharmacy-in-a-box facility, used for the temperature-controlled storage of medical supplies (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Health workers said the facilities, which now number more than 350 across Malawi, have cut thefts and reduced wastage of medicines, increased staff motivation, and encouraged people to seek treatment because they know the drugs are available.

At the health centre, patients can access a range of services from a maternity unit to malaria treatment as well as HIV testing and after care if someone is found to have the virus.

Harry said of the drugs used to treat an HIV patient: “You need to know your status and know there’s medication, so you can have a happy and healthy life.”

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