Madonna In Malawi To Advocate For Youth Education And Healthcare

Photo Credit: Shavawn Rissman

Photo Credit: Shavawn Rissman

Photo Credit: Shavawn Rissman

Madonna is currently visiting Malawi, where she has worked since 2006 with her charitable organization, Raising Malawi. The musician and philanthropist is marking the first anniversary of the Mercy James Centre for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, an ambitious project undertaken by Raising Malawi to improve specialized paediatric healthcare in Malawi. Located on the campus of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) – the largest referral hospital in the country – the Mercy James Centre includes Malawi’s first paediatric intensive care unit, three operating theatres dedicated to surgery in children, a day clinic, and 50-bed ward.

“Malawi is a second home for me and my family, and every time we come here is a homecoming. It’s a thrill to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Mercy James Centre, its talented staff, and the committed partners who have worked with Raising Malawi to make this effort a success,” said Madonna. “Our achievements this past year have exceeded our expectations, and we will continue with our mission to better serve the children of this country.”

Raising Malawi funded the Mercy James Centre for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care (MJC) to provide Malawi’s youth with the best medical care possible. Since opening July 11, 2018, the talented staff of Mercy James Centre have:
  • Performed 1,690 paediatric surgeries – more than double the annual average before the Mercy James Centre
  • Admitted nearly 300 patients into the paediatric ICU
  • Seen 2,300 patients in the outpatient clinic
  • Admitted nearly 1,500 patients into the ward
The MJC is setting a new standard of paediatric surgical and intensive care in the region. Highlights from year one include Malawi’s first successful operation of conjoined twins. A team of 20+ doctors, nurses and anesthesia staff, led by long-time Raising Malawi partner Dr. Eric Borgstein, successfully separated two baby boys. The effort was a testament to spirit of collaboration and excellence that is imbedded in the culture of Mercy James Centre.

“We are able to tackle cases that we never could have done in the past. Because of the Mercy James Centre, we are saving more children’s lives, particularly those with complex medical issues. The support of Madonna and Raising Malawi has transformed paediatric surgical and intensive care in Malawi,” said Dr. Borgstein.

In addition to increasing paediatric surgical capacity, the Mercy James Centre is growing into its role as a training center of excellence. It houses the sole paediatric surgery training program in Malawi, supported by Raising Malawi. Partners like Physicians for Peace and Oslo University Hospital drive bedside education in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), the first PICU in Malawi.

Madonna concluded the trip with a meeting with His Excellency President Arthur Peter Mutharika, who appointed her Malawi’s Goodwill Ambassador for Child Welfare in 2014.