Madonna opens pediatric surgery center in Malawi
(CNN) — It was a family affair on Tuesday when Madonna opened a children’s hospital in Malawi.
The superstar presided over the opening of the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care at the Queen Central Hospital.
Named for one of Madonna’s adopted daughters, Mercy James, it’s the first center of its kind in the African country and was funded by the singer’s Raising Malawi charity, which she founded in 2006, the same year she adopted an infant son David Banda, now 11, from the country.
Madonna adopted Mercy James in 2009 and earlier this year added twins Esther and Stella Mwale to her family.
Madonna also has two older children, daughter Lourdes and son Rocco, from previous relationships.
The star was accompanied by her Malawian children at the event where she spoke about the importance of the center.
“The Mercy James Center remains not only a world-class intensive care hospital, but also a superior learning environment to train the next generation of Malawian healthcare workers,” Madonna said. “This is as much about healing as it is about empowerment.”
Daughter Mercy James also gave brief remarks.
“It is a great honor to know this hospital is named after me,” the 11-year-old said. “But what’s more important is that we may help many kids and save many lives.”
The state-of-the-art pediatric surgery and intensive care unit is located in Blantyre, Malawi.
Madonna said in a statement ahead of the opening ceremony that “Malawi has enriched my family more than I could have ever imagined.”
“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,” she said.
The medical facility also boasts a playroom, an outdoor play structure and inspirational murals curated by Madonna and created by artists she brought to the country.