Monday, July 16, 2018

Madonna jovial as she visits Malawi

  • I came here to check on activities
  • Reveals plans to establish football academy 
American Pop singer Madonna returned to what has become her home away from home-- Malawi-- on Monday afternoon, where he toured facilities at Mercy James Centre.

On July 11 last year, Madonna was back to Malawi on a trip that saw her open her heart to the children of Malawi, who she aided by gifting the Mercy James Centre.

The centre, located at Malawi's major referral hospital of Queen Elizabeth Central, has, since its opening last year, helped Malawian children access treatment that would, otherwise, not be available without Madonna.

On a cool afternoon, when the weather hovered between 8 and 12 degrees Celsius, Raising Malawi Executive Director, Sarah Ezzy, could not be blamed for being on top of the world.

Ezzy said, in a well-crafted statement: "Madonna has returned to Malawi, where she has worked since 2006 with her charitable organisation, Raising Malawi, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Mercy James  Centre for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care (MJC).

"Located on the campus of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH)-- the largest referral hospital in the country [of Malawi-- the Mercy James Centre, which opened on July 11, 2017, includes Malawi's first paediatric intensive care unit, three operating theatres dedicated to surgery in children, a dy clinic, and 50-bed ward."

Truly, it has been a tremendous first year for the patient-focused team at Mercy James Centre, who have skillfully: performed 1,690 paediatric surgeries; admitted nearly 300 patients into the paediatric ICU; seen 2, 300 patients in the outpatient clinic; admitted nearly 1, 500 patients into the ward.

In fact, the Mercy James Centre has doubled the capacity of the paediatric surgery team, which averaged 700 surgeries per year in their old facilities. Last month, the team made history in Malawi by masterfully completing the first successful separation of conjoined twins in Malawi.

Ezzy said: "The Mercy James Centre represents the expansion of Raising Malawi's work at QECH since 2008 with Professor Eric Borgstein, one of four full-time paediatric surgeons in the country. Through the partnership with Raising Malawi, Professor Borgstein has developed a paediatric surgical training programme at QECH, which trained the first Malawi-born paediatric surgeon, Dr Tiyamike Kapalamula, who is now working at the Mercy James Centre.

"Raising Malawi built and donated the two-storey, free standing building to QECH and, as a part of its commitment, will continue to work with the Ministry of Health to help support operations. 

"Madonna founded Raising Malawi in 2006 to address the poverty and hardship endured by Malawi's orphans and vulnerable children. Raising Malawi partners with local organisations to provide Malawian children and their caregivers with critical resources including education and medical care."

On her part, Madonna was ecstatic, saying: "I am thrilled to see that the Mercy James Centre has become a centre of excellence in Malawi in just one year and I am grateful to the many partners, including the Ministry of Health, who have worked with Raising Malawi to make the MJC so successful. Our achievements have exceeded our expectations, and we will continue with our mission to better serve the children of this country."

Madonna indicated that she has plans to establish a football facility for youths, citing progress made by her son David James, who plays for an academy in Spain.

Madonna was in the company of all the four Malawian children she has adopted, including twins she adopted two years ago, namely Stella and Esther.

David looked like a giant he never was when he was under the care of Malawian guardians.

Mercy is growing into a young woman; smiling, forward-looking and out to show that, given a chance, the girl-child can go all the way.

Stella has become clever girl; one who is wary of the paparazzi. Just like Esther, of course. 

They seem so grown up already that they dodged cameras. 

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