U.S. Pop star Madonna has today opened the state of the art children’s hospital in Malawi’s commercial city of Blantyre.
The hospital which is called the Mercy James Centre was opened at an event which was also attended by President Peter Mutharika.
Speaking at the function, Madonna said every child has a dream and stakeholders have a role to make the dreams of the children come true.
Madonna who has six children, four of whom she adopted from Malawi said she grew up without a mother and this made her to have a desire to take care of children.
“I grew up without a mother and all my life I have longed to be a good mother,” she said.
Madonna’s daughter Mercy James also spoke during the event and she hailed her mother calling her the bomb.
On his part, Mutharika said Madonna’s approach in developing the country by constructing infrastructure such as Mercy James Centre is commendable and will improve lives of children.
Speaking at the same function, Malawi Minister of Health Dr Peter Kumpalume said the construction of Mercy James Centre is an indication of cordial relation between Malawi and Madonna.
“This hospital is a perfect example of a perfect collaboration between the benefactor Madonna and her team Raising Malawi and Ministry of Health and of course which incorporates people at Queens Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH),” Kumpalume said.
He thanked Madonna and her team Raising Malawi for constructing the biggest referral facility in the country through the Ministry of Health.
The minister told the gathering that the country has patients and among them children who are awaiting to be sent abroad for various medical treatments.
“Your excellency as you are aware we send patients abroad for referral and at the moment in the ministry of health we have 247 people that are waiting to be referred abroad because either we don’t have equipment or specialists in this country.
“Out of 247 people 76 are children and out of those 76 children 68 have a heart condition. Thus 89 percent of the children on the waiting list have got a heart condition that are waiting referral abroad,” Kumpalume said.
According to Kumpalume, such children can be treated locally as the country can have its own cardiac surgery centre for children.
“The 68 children who have a heart condition Mr. President need not to be on the waiting list. Heart condition for children is a condition that when treated early, the children recover fully and lead normal productive life,” Kumpalume said.
The minister then asked workers to take care of the centre as it is now the property of the ministry of health.
Among other dignitaries who were present during the launch include Malawi’s First Lady Gertrude Mutharika, Malawi Veep Saulos Chilima, his wife Mary and United States Ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer.