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Expanding Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon
President and Mrs. Bush spent America's Independence Day in Lusaka, Zambia. This trip to Africa has been a labor of love, as President Bush said today, and it is born out of a commitment to save lives. President and Mrs. Bush live by the principle, to whom much is given, much is required, and their work at the Bush Institute reflects this belief.
During his remarks at the University Teaching Hospital, President Bush noted that "on our country's birthday, it is important to remember the blessings of freedom and the blessings of being an American and to give back". Because of Americans generosity, PEPFAR has saved more than a half a million lives in Zambia from HIV/AIDs, and more than 4 million on the continent of Africa. In 2005, coffin making was the most lucrative business in Zambia because so many people were dying of AIDs. Today, people have access to life saving medicines and are able to live productive lives. But, the most tragic thing is to save women from HIV/AIDs and watch them die of cervical cancer. So, today in Lusaka, President and Mrs. Bush opened the first Center for Excellence at the University Teaching Hospital. The First Lady of Zambia Dr. Christine Kaseba, who is an OBGYN, and Zambia's Minister of Health, Dr. Kasonde joined the dedication showing the commitment of ownership by the Zambian government. And, the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR) partners (public and private American corporations, institutions, non-governmental organizations, and the United States government) announced the expansion of PRRR to increase access to screening, education, and vaccines to fight cervical cancer. Building on the successful model and existing infrastructure of PEPFAR, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon has already begun to screen and treat women for cervical cancer. Combating the most prevalent and deadly cancer among women in sub-Saharan Africa is becoming a reality. This post was written by Charity Wallace, Director of the Women’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. Click here to learn more about President and Mrs. Bush's trip to Africa.