Malawian President Peter Mutharika met Friday with visiting U.S. pop singer Madonna, praising her efforts to help children's education in the South African country.

"I ask you to continue your work in supporting and improving education in this country," Mutharika said as he received the pop icon at the Kamuzu Presidential Palace in the capital, Lilongwe, on Friday.

"You must also encourage David and Mercy [Madonna's two adopted Malawian children] to work hard in their education," he added.

Mutharika also commended a new pediatric surgery and intensive care unit that Madonna hopes to build at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, a referral hospital in the city of Blantyre.

Madonna arrived in Malawi on Wednesday to visit children and hold talks with Mutharika about her charity work.

She is accompanied by her son, Roco John Ritchie, along with her two adopted Malawian children, David Banda and Mercy Chifundo James.

"Malawi is a special country," Madonna told a smiling Mutharika. "This country is special because that's where I adopted my two children."

Madonna on Thursday announced that her charity organization, "Raising Malawi," would build a two-story facility for Malawi's Health Ministry.

"Raising Malawi" said the new facility would double the number of surgeries for children performed at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and would also provide the first dedicated pediatric intensive care unit in the country.

According to Sarah Ezzy, director of Raising Malawi, the project represents an expansion of the organization's work at Queen Elizabeth with Eric Borgestein, one of only three pediatric surgeons operating in Malawi.

The partnership with Madonna's charity has helped Borgestein develop a pediatric surgical training program under the auspices of the College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa.

"There was a shortage of pediatric surgical wards at this hospital; the new 50-bed facility that will be built will ease congestion," Borgestein told The Anadolu Agency.

In a tweet, Madonna described Borgestein as her "hero."

"My hero, Prof. Borgestein – he's a boss! Saving lives every day at Queen Elizabeth Hospital," the pop superstar tweeted.

Construction of Madonna's pediatric surgery and intensive care unit is expected to begin next February.

Anadolu Agency