American pop star Mdonna on Monday met President Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe a day after she inspected construction works for a miultimillion dollar, two storey magnifiscent and the first ever padriatric ward and intensive care unit which she is funding at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre.
Presidential Press Secretary Mgeme Kalirani said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times that Mutharika and Madonna had a myriad of issues to discuss in her capacity as Goodwill Ambassador for Child Welfare in Malawi.
Among the issues discussed, according to Kalilani, among the issues discussed included projects the singer is funding in Malawi through her Rising Malawi.
Madonna’s foundation, Raising Malawi, is constructing the 50-bed children ward .
The Presidential spokesman said Madonna “informed” the Malawi leader that construction works for the project are “almost complete and that she will now be moving to the second phase of the project which is procurement of equipment and furnishing of the clinic.”
The pop diva further informed the President that the hospital shall offer “free services” with a small section for paying patients, said Kalilani.
The State House statement said President Mutharika hailed Madonna for the progress made on the project and assured the pop diva of his government’s committed to supporting her initiatives.
“The President believes the project shall have an enormous impact on government programmes aimed at saving lives of children in the country as well as on improving health delivery services in general,” reads the statement.
The children’s unit is a 50-bed ward and will enable the hospital to increase the number of surgeries for children at the hospital by almost 100%.
Once operational in early 2017, the clinic will be the first Intensive Care Unit for pediatric surgery in Malawi.
Madonna was meeting President Mutharika for the second time having first met in November 2014 when Mutharika appointed her as Malawi’s Ambassador for Child Welfare.
Prior to Mutharika’s ascendance to power, Madonna had a stormy relationship with Malawi’s ex-president Joyce Banda who stripped the pop star’s VIP status.
Banda accused Madonna of being bad-mannered and of pressing everlasting gratitude from Malawians simply because she adopted two children.
Madonna adopted two Malawian children namely Mercy James and David James who joined her during her visit to Malawi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :