Children are our most precious part of society. We measure our care for any society in our care for children. And that is why we are here.
We are here because a loving mother of humanity came to show care for our children. We are here because Ms. Madonna Ciccone pledged her loving spirit for Malawi. Madonna led the idea and the work of constructing the Mercy James Centre and the Intensive Care Unit for pediatric surgery.
Above all, we are here because we value our children. In this country, 50 percent of our population is under 15 years. Half of our population is made up of children. It is therefore important for us to invest in children’s health care because children are the future. If we are to raise our children with a better quality of life, then we must invest in them.
It is pleasing that Raising Malawi has invested their resources, energy and time in search of a better quality of life for Malawian children. Since 2008, Raising Malawi has been working closely with Government to help more Malawian children in need of surgery. Now we can perform up 700 paediatric surgeries per year. These surgeries include Malawi’s most complex cases, such as tumor removals, correcting congenital deformities, treating abdominal conditions and major burns.
Raising Malawi has inspired us towards becoming the first and the best in child health care. And we are set to walk that path.
As a country, we are also proud to note Malawi offers a paediatric surgery training program that cannot be found anywhere in the region. We must now proceed to have a world-class training centre for medical staff in the whole of Southern Africa. Malawi deserves the best. We have the ability to be the best. Above all, children deserve the best.
With the Mercy James Centre, we can now handle large numbers of children in critical condition after undergoing surgery. We can now treat critical cases of malaria which accounts for 40 percent of hospitalization in children under five. In addition, this facility will promote advanced research in malaria, which is taking away most of Malawi’s children. This Centre is our national pride.
It is pleasing that the Mercy James Centre has been constructed with our full participation as a country. Together, we have built an environment where our children will feel loved and cared for, even when they are in pain.
We have shown a global sense of community in putting together our hands and hearts. In a communal spirit, every artist brought a hand to paint the soul uplifting environment seen here. Let every local or international artist know that we are thankful.
I am further encouraged to note that the Mercy James Centre has been built in a communal spirit that has involved more than 20 local and international partners apart from Malawi Government. I thank every one of you on behalf of the people of Malawi.
In our desire to raise the quality of life for our children, we have worked as a true African community. In our African culture, every child belongs to the community. We are all children of our communities. Therefore, we care for every child even we are not their parent. In fact, we are all parents of our community of children.
I am here to tell the world that what Madonna has done is what Africa has always done. Madonna is a symbol of a motherly spirit and an African communal spirit. In Africa, we have always lived by the collective spirit of supporting those in need.
Madonna came and offered to be the mother of four children from Malawi. She came, she saw a need, and she found a cause. Today, she has offered more like a mother for the rest of our children. She has given us a Centre that will provide and care for the rest of our children.
To Madonna, I say – you began by adopting four of our children. And I end by offering to adopt you as a daughter of the land.
And I declare the Mercy James Centre officially opened.
God bless you!
And God bless our country!