4 July 2012

Zambia: Bush Pledges More Help

FORMER United States of America (US) president George W. Bush says he will put in place various interventions to assist the Government in combating the burden of many diseases in Zambia.

Mr Bush said in Kabwe yesterday that he would continue to render support through the Presidents' Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiative to fight diseases such as HIV/AIDS and cervical cancer.

PEPFAR is the cornerstone and largest component of the US President's Global Health Initiative with a special focus on improving health of women, newborns and children. Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer which starts by attacking the cells of the surface of the cervix in women.

Mr Bush, who was accompanied by his wife Laura, was speaking when he opened Ngungu Health Centre, a joint health project of the Ministry of Health and the George Bush Institute.

The health centre which was refurbished by Mr Bush, volunteers from United States and Zambia, offers a wide range of health services such as screening and treatment of cervical cancer.

Mr Bush said his desire was to provide continued assistance, especially to the vulnerable people in various communities by fighting diseases that endangered them.

"Every human life is important and should be saved. We don't want to see people suffering because we need to help them to save life from diseases like HIV/AIDS and cervical cancer," he said.

He said he wanted to establish a cancer foundation project that would stand the test of time and save the lives of many women suffering from cervical cancer.

Mr Bush and his wife were expected to provide US$50,000 to upgrade a facility at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH).

This is part of Pink Ribbon and Red Ribbon campaign, which is an initiative to leverage public and private investments in global health to combat cervical and breast cancer.

Ministry of Health Welani Chilengwe said the establishment of the health centre would foster

closer delivery of quality health services.

US ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella said Zambian doctors, nurses and other personnel were doing a commendable job to offer quality health services to citizens in line with focus and mission of the ministry.

Mr Bush later visited a maternity ward where he took some time to admire a newly born baby named after him, George Sichula.

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