Madonna is in the African country of Malawi for the first time since she had a falling out with the former president last year.
Madonna on Thursday launched a 50-bed pediatrics ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the commercial capital Blantyre. Sarah Ezzy, director of the charity Raising Malawi, said the new facility is the first dedicated pediatric intensive care unit in the country.
Former Malawi President Joyce Banda had stripped Madonna of her VIP status last year by forcing the singer to check into her private jet as an ordinary passenger. New President Peter Mutharika has restored the singer’s VIP status. The president’s spokesman said the country appreciates Madonna’s charity work.
Madonna helps fund a number of charities — including orphanages, schools and medical facilities — in Malawi.