Internationally renown American pop star Madonna, on Tuesday officially opened the highly-awaited Mercy James Centre for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, in Blantyre, the commercial city of Malawi.
Madonna was accompanied to the opening ceremony, by Malawi President Professor Peter Mutharika, First Lady Gertrude Mutharika and Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima and Mrs. Chilima, among other Government and civic dignitaries including diplomats and members of the donor community.
Speaking during the open ceremony, Madonna said she is committed to promote the welfare of Malawian children.
She said she was very happy to see her dream come true and encouraged by the spirit of perseverance.
US pop star Madonna Ciccone hugs her adopted daughter from Malawi Mercy James after officially opening a medical facility funded by the singer’s charity organization Raising Malawi on July 11, 2017.
“Let me celebrate the beautiful spirit of inspiration I found in Malawi.
I have achieved so many things I never imagined I could do in my life, like building a paediatric centre in Malawi, raising six children four of them Malawians,” said Madonna.
In his remarks, President Mutharika thanked Madonna for the Centre.
He said the American pop star has shown the real spirit and symbol of a loving and caring mother.
“Allow me to thank Madonna and all the 20 partners for making the Centre a reality. The Centre will help to give Malawian children better treatment and advance research in malaria,” said Mutharika.
Minister of Health Dr Peter Kumpalume suggested that the Centre should also carry pediatric cardiac surgeries.
Kumpalume said this will help to minimise the overwhelming demand to send children in need of this procedure, abroad due to lack of equipment and expertise in Malawi.
He said presently, Malawi has 76 children out of 247 patients, who are waiting to be referred abroad for cardiac surgery.
The Centre has 56 beds, three operating theatre rooms, Intensive Care Unit, High Dependence Unit, 46 main wards and a recovery ward.
It is estimated that 700 surgeries will be conducted at the Centre annually.
During the same ceremony, Mercy James, thanked her famous mother for being committed to take care of Malawi children.
Madonna built the children’s hospital with money from her Raising Malawi Initiative.
Madonna adopted Mercy James in 2009 during the late President Bingu Wa Mutharika Administration.
She first adopted David Banda Mwale before adopting Mercy. She is in the process of adopting twins; this totals four children of Malawi origin and two biological children; in total Madonna has six children.