LONDON, November 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The St John International team today hosted celebrated social rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu at their offices in London to discuss the development work of the global health charity and the maternal and newborn health work they are rolling out across Africa.
Archbishop Tutu, who chaired South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was established by Nelson Mandela, is now the Prior of St John South Africa and was made a member of St John in 1995 by HM The Queen.
The Archbishop's packed London tour on behalf of St John kicked off on Monday 18th November and has involved a private audience with HM The Queen, yesterday at Buckingham Palace; a visit with St John International staff to discuss the growth of the global health charity and its new focus on international development programmes; and later this afternoon the Archbishop will play a prominent role in the Order of St John Knights and Dames Investiture ceremony, which will be conducted by HRH The Duke of Gloucester who is the Grand Prior of The Order of St John.
Tutu is advocating for the new St John International Mother and Child Programme which aims to reach over 50,000 people in the next three years in the five Sub-Saharan African countries of Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe to improve the still appalling maternal and newborn mortality rates in these regions. Through adding his voice in support of St John's new Mother and Child Programme on this visit, Tutu hopes that more people will support the international charity in their efforts to improve maternal and newborn mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa - a region which still accounts for 56% of global maternal deaths.
Speaking at the St John International offices today the Archbishop said: "I passionately support the work of St John and their unique community volunteer led approach towards improving community health around the world and addressing maternal and newborn health in Africa through their new Mother and Child Programme.
"St John's model of volunteer-led health care ensures sustainability and improved services and education for generations to come. Without healthy mothers and babies, communities cannot flourish and develop so investment in this area of health care is absolutely vital."
For more information on Archbishop Tutu's London visit and the work of St John International please contact:
SOURCE St John International