From Halima Abdulkadir, Abuja
United States based pop celebrity Madonna this week returned to Malawi to celebrate the first anniversary of a medical facility Mercy James Centre for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre named after one of the four children she adopted children from this southern African country, which she funded through her Raising Malawi charity.
The pop star toured the facility and was delighted with the services it is rendering, whose highlights include the first successful separation of conjoined twins in Malawi.
Since her first visit to Malawi 12 years ago, Madonna has had a long history with the country. She adopted David from the capital city of Lilongwe in 2008; a year later, she finalized the adoption of Mercy, whom she met in Blantyre; and in February 2017, she adopted Estere and Stella, who grew up in the same orphanage as David, Home of Hope.
Madonna met the mother and aunt of the twins. She says they have been through a lot and it was good to “give them hope.”
the celebrity singer captioned the family photo, alongside emoji characters of a tree, hospital, handclaps, heart and Malawian flag.
Madonna said it is “amazing” that a lot of lives have been saved at Mercy James Centre and “that makes all the difference.”
She said: “There was a a time in Malawi when there was no intensive care unit for children. So it means a lot to me that we have been functioning well.”
Madonna also said she was pleased to meet oaraents of the conjoined twins who were sepefrated at the Mercy James Centre.
“I The twin boys, aged four and a haft at the time, were referred to the facility from Balaka District Hospital in March and were successfully operated in June by pediatric surgeon Eric Borgstein.
Madonna launched her charity efforts in the country in 2006. Per its mission statement, “Raising Malawi supports orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through health, education and community support.”
In addition to opening Malawi’s first children’s hospital, the organization has helped build 10 schools; and earlier this year, Madonna announced plans to build four new schools.