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Madonna-Funded Children’s Surgery Institute Opens in Malawi

Variety logo Variety 7/7/2017 Rebecca Rubin
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Madonna announced today the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care will open at the Queen Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, on July 11.

The unit, named after Madonna’s Malawi-born daughter, Mercy James, is the first of its kind in that country and was funded by Madonna’s charity Raising Malawi in collaboration with the minister of health.

“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,” Madonna said in a statement. “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.”

Opening of the pediatric surgery and intensive care center was announced in November 2014, and the first patients were admitted on June 29. The new children’s wing will help Queen Elizabeth hospital double the number of surgeries performed on children each year, while also serving as a training center for local doctors in Southern Africa.

The unit will also dedicate comfortable space for children who have to spend time in the hospital, including a playroom, an outdoor playing structure, and murals curated by Madonna and created by artists she’s brought to the country.

“Malawi has enriched my family more than I could have ever imagined,” Madonna added. “It’s important for me to make sure all my children from the country maintain a strong connection to their birth nation, and equally important to show them that together, humans have the power to change the world for the better.”

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