American pop star and philanthropist Madonna’s tireless efforts in promoting the welfare of Malawian children in Malawi have not gone unnoticed and unappreciated and it is for this reason that President Mutharika has told Madonna that she is now an adopted daughter of Malawi.
Speaking when he officially opened the magnificent Mercy James Centre for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, Mutharika described Madonna as a symbol of motherly spirit.
Madonna built the children’s hospital with money from her Raising Malawi Initiative.
The president thanked Madonna and all her 20 partners for making the centre a reality saying it will help give Malawian children better treatment and advance research in malaria.
“You started by adopting four Malawian children and now we adopt you as a daughter of Malawi. You came to Malawi saw a need and provided care for the children. This facility is a national pride,” he said
Mutharika emphasised the need to invest in children who make 50 percent of the population saying they are the most precious gift of the society.
In her remarks, Madonna said she was delighted to see her dreams come true and encouraged the spirit of perseverance.
Said Madonna: “Today I wanna celebrate the beautiful spirit of inspiration I found in Malawi. This is my second home. 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. I therefore urge you to never give up on your dreams and never stop fighting for what you believe in”.
Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume described the centre as a perfect demonstration of a perfect collaboration between Madonna, Raising Malawi and the Malawi government.
He suggested that the centre should also be carrying cardiac surgeries on children to minimise the overwhelming demand to send them abroad due to lack of equipment and expertise in the country.
“I appeal that this should also be a cardiac surgery centre for children. Currently we have 247 patients waiting to be referred abroad 76 of which are children and
68 of these children have heart problems, we want these surgeries to be done right in this country so that many lives are saved,” said Kumpalume.
The centre which has 56 beds comprises three 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 each year.
The centre is named after Mercy James, the 11 year-old daughter Madonna adopted from Malawi in 2009.