- Title: Madonna officially opens pediatric unit in Malawi
- Date: 11th July 2017
- Summary: BLANTYRE, MALAWI (JULY 11, 2017) (REUTERS) **** WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY **** MADONNA AND MALAWI PRESIDENT PETER MUTHARIKA OPENING THE NEW CHILDREN HOSPITAL WIDE OF THE MERCY JAMES INSTITUTE FOR PEDIATRIC SUGARY AND INTENSIVE CARE MORE OF THE HOSPITAL EXTERIOR MADONNA WITH PRESIDENT MUTHARIKA AT VARIOUS WARDS IN THE HOSPITAL PATIENT ON THE HOSPITAL BED MORE OF MADONNA WITH MALAWI PRESIDENT MADONNA HOLDING A SHOE WIDE OF PEOPLE ON THE HOSPITAL PASSAGE MADONNA WALKING WITH ONE OF HER ADOPTED MALAWIAN TWINS GUEST AT THE OPENING OF THE HOSPITAL MADONNA SPEAKING WITH MERCY JAMES HER ADOPTED DAUGHTER MORE OF MADONNA AT THE EVENT MADONNA SEATED WITH HER ADOPTED CHILDREN MALAWI PRESIDENT MUTHARIKA WITH HIS WIFE GERTRUDE WIDE OF MADONNA ON STAGE SOUNDBITE (English) AMERICAN SINGER, MADONNA, SAYING; "It wasn't easy and with the blood, sweat and tears of so many people here today we fought for this hospital and we won, so I'm here to say never ever give up on your dreams." MORE OF THE PRESIDENT WITH HIS WIFE SOUNDBITE (English) AMERICAN SINGER, MADONNA, SAYING; "The Mercy James centre remains not only a world class Intensive Care hospital but also a superior learning environment to train the next generations of Malawian health care workers. This place is as much about healing as it is about empowerment." MORE OF PEOPLE AT THE EVENT PRESIDENT MUTHARIKA WIDE OF MERCY JAMES ON STAGE SOUNDBITE (English) MADONNA ADOPTED DAUGHTER, MERCY JAMES, SAYING; "It is a great honour to know this hospital is named after me. What's more important is that it will heal many kids and save many lives." MADONNA HOLDING HER ADOPTED SON WIDE OF PRESIDENT MUTHARIKA ON STAGE SOUNDBITE (English) MALAWI PRESIDENT, PETER MUTHARIKA, SAYING; "Madonna is a symbol of a motherly spirit an African communal spirit. In Africa where we live by collective spirit of supporting those in need. Madonna came out to offer to be the mother of our children from Malawi."
- Embargoed: 25th July 2017 18:44
- Keywords: Madonna Malawi Pediatric Surgery care American singer Mercy James Institute for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care
- Location: BLANTYRE, MALAWI
- City: BLANTYRE, MALAWI
- Country: Malawi
- Topics: Celebrities,Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Music
- Reuters ID: LVA0016P9XZRH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Madonna was hailed as a "symbol of a motherly spirit" by Malawi President Peter Mutharika after the American singer opened a children's hospital named after her adopted daughter Mercy James.
The Mercy James Institute for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care located in Blantyre, Malawi's second-largest city, is the first such facility built in the country by Madonna's charity Raising Malawi.
"We will ensure that not only will it be a world-class children's hospital, but also a superior center of learning. This is as much about healing as it is about empowerment," Madonna said at the hospital's official opening.
The singer adopted Malawian children David Banda and Mercy James in 2006 and 2009 respectively and twins Esther and Stella Mwale earlier this year. She has two other children, Lourdes and Rocco, from previous relationships.
Speaking at the event, Mercy James drew applause and ululations from the crowd during her speech. At one point saying "It is a great honour to know this hospital is named after me. What's more important is that it will heal many kids and save many lives." She told the audience.
Madonna established the non-profit Raising Malawi charity in 2006 to provide health and education, particularly for girls. The charity has built 10 schools in Malawi, according to its website.
Madonna criticized Malawi's slow pace of law reform, saying it nearly prevented her from adopting Mercy James.
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