US pop star Madonna will visit the Malawi on Sunday July 10, where she is expected to inspect work on the paediatric ward that her charity organisation, Raising Malawi, is constructing at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre.
According to Raising Malawi executive director Sarah Ezzy, the Madonna is building a two-storey free-standing 50-bed paediatric surgical ward which will also have an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
“The new facility, which will be completed by the end of the year, will have three operating theatres for surgery in children, a 50 bed ward, a day clinic, and the country’s first ever paediatric intensive care unit,” Ezzy said.
Ezzy said after touring the construction site, the singer will also take time to talk to journalists.
Madonna announced in November 2014 that Raising Malawi will construct a paediatric ward as one way of reducing the pressure that is there due to shortage of surgical paediatric wards in the country.
In addition to serving more children, the new facility will become a training centre of excellence for Southern Africa, with more local doctors acquiring the skills needed to perform paediatric surgery.
Madonna first came to Malawi in 2006 when she adopted a then one-year-old David Banda at an orphanage in Mchinji.
She returned in the country in 2009 and adopted her second Malawian child, Mercy Chifundo James, at another orphanage.
During her last visit to Malawi in November 2014, the pop star was appointed as Malawi’s Goodwill Ambassador for child welfare by President Peter Mutharika.
Following a meeting which Mutharika and Madonna had that time, the President hailed the diva’s plans to construct the paediatric ward and intensive care unit.