By Robyn Collins
Madonna has announced that the Mercy James Instituted for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi will be open for business on Tuesday, July 11.
Named for the pop star’s Malawi-born daughter, Mercy James, and in conjunction with Raising Malawi, Madonna’s charity organization, the surgery center is the first of its kind in the country. The first patients were admitted on June 29, 2017.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital will be able to double the number of surgeries performed on children and will increase the chance of survival after major surgeries in the state-of-the-art facility.
There are currently only 4 pediatric surgeons in the country, while half of the population are under the age of 15. The new wing will also become a training center for Southern Africans, providing local doctors the skills needed to perform pediatric surgery.
The singer shared in a statement, “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, and on my first visit to Malawi, I made a commitment that I would do just that. As we approach the opening of the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, I’d like to thank everyone who has joined me on this unbelievable journey. What started out as a dream for Malawi and her children has become a reality, and we couldn’t have done it without your support.”