LOS ANGELES, July 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — 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 is also a global leader in promoting education for the world’s most vulnerable children. In 2012, she launched a partnership between her foundation, Raising Malawi, and the global nonprofit buildOn. Today, Madonna has served nearly 10,000 Malawian students – fulfilling her commitment to making learning and school accessible to Malawian youth. During her latest trip, Madonna traveled to Northeast Kasungu Province to officially open four primary schools constructed with buildOn – in total Raising Malawi has built 14 schools in rural Malawi. As a part of the partnership, Raising Malawi and buildOn have educated community members about the importance of girls’ education, and as result, all schools have gender-parity (equal numbers of girls and boys enrolled).
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.
About Raising Malawi
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 organizations to provide Malawian children and their caregivers with critical resources including education and medical care. https://www.raisingmalawi.org
At home or abroad, buildOn’s goal is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education. Across the U.S., buildOn empowers urban youth to transform their neighborhoods through intensive community service and to change the world by building schools in some of the economically poorest countries in the world. Since 1991, buildOn has constructed 864 schools worldwide, with more than 110,000 children, parents and grandparents attending these schools every day. For more information, visit www.buildon.org. buildOn has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator