On 14 July 2023, the Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Theme bade farewell to their theme lead Professor David Lissauer at Lotus Hotel in Namiwawa, Blantyre. Professor Lissauer is returning to the United Kingdom.
Speaking at the event one of the students and a member of the theme Leonard Mndala, said that Lissauer’s presence and works will be greatly missed. He also thanked him for being open and a caring boss to all members of the theme.
“Professor Lissauer had an open-door policy and that is something that most of us enjoyed while interacting with him. He gave me an opportunity when I had no experience, and I am thankful for the faith that he had in me.
Since that moment a lot has happened, I went from being a volunteer to a trainee and now am just starting my PhD. So, on behalf of all the students under the Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Theme, I thank you for your availability and for pushing us to achieve things we never thought we would achieve. Thank you for that,” said Mndala.
Professor Lissauer’s journey was metaphorically presented as the journey of an eagle leaving its nest and its young ones. MLW’s Director Professor Henry Mwandumba who was also in attendance, urged members of the group to embrace Professor Lissauer’s departure as a way of development and a chance to show David his time and efforts did not go in vain.
“If you were strong enough while working with Professor Lissauer, now challenge him and say “yes” to the opportunities that he has accorded you not by just maintaining it but in fact taking it to another notch. I encourage us to unite and work together as a team”.
Speaking at the event, Professor Lissauer encouraged the members that his return should not feel like a goodbye but a new chapter. He also encouraged the team to work hard and be united without considering the distance factor.
The Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Theme is a network of scientists at MLW and other institutions, supporting each other and enhancing research on mothers, neonates, children, and adolescents.
Among others, the group stands to inform policy and practice across low-resource settings to improve maternal, neonatal, and child health; and to build sustainable capacity for maternal, neonatal, and child research in Malawi and the region.