Madonna officially opens children hospital ward in Malawi

She is mother to four adopted children from Malawi.

And inspired by her brood, Madonna returned to the southeastern African country on Tuesday to officially open a children’s hospital wing that her charity Raising Malawi has helped to build.

The pop icon, 58, decided to name the 50-bed paediatric facility after her 11-year-old daughter Mercy James and was joined by her little girl at its launch.

Making for a sweet moment during the opening, Madonna was seen hugging her daughter as they joined each other up on stage in front of the gathered crowd.

The facility has been named The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care – after Madonna’s daughter – and is located at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.

The Like A Prayer hit-maker appeared in high spirits as she attended the launch of the facility and was seen putting on an affectionate display with her brood.

Like Mercy, she has also adopted son David Banda, 11, and recently welcomed four-year-old twins Estere and Stella after adopting them from an orphanage in Malawi, where she has been a regular visitor for many years.

She is also the biological mother of daughter Lourdes Leon, 20, and son Rocco Ritchie, 16.

During the opening, Madonna was seen getting involved with the festivities and had unveiled a plaque to mark the completion of the children’s ward while stood alongside President Peter Mutharika.

He had declared Madonna a ‘daughter of the nation’ during his speech at the opening, telling the songstress: ‘You started by adopting four Malawian children, now we are adopting you as the daughter of this nation.’

Speaking about her desire to build the medical facility, Madonna has said: ‘There are so many things I never imagined I will do. I never imagined one day I will build this kind of a hospital.

 ‘Never give up on your dreams,’ she urged.

The Mercy James Institute has been built in collaboration with Malawi’s health industry and prior to its official opening, Madonna had revealed that the facility has already completed its first surgery.

It is the first health unit for children in Malawai and is said to double the capacity for paediatric care at the Queen Elizabeth hospital.

The institute had taken two years to build and includes three specialist operating theatres.

A cause close to her heart, Madonna had followed the progress of the ward and had visited the site as work got underway. She had founded her charity, Raising Malawi, back in 2006 with the hope of raising awareness and helping the African country’s children to overcome the hardship they have had to endure.

‘When you look into the eyes of children in need, wherever they may be, a human being wants to do anything and everything they can to help,’ Madonna told The Associated Press.

‘On my first visit to Malawi, I made a commitment that I would do just that.’


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