30 June 2013

Zambia: Bush Extols Zambia

VISITING former US President, George W Bush has praised Zambia for being responsive to matters of cervical cancer.

Mr Bush said he decided to return to Zambia for the second time within a short period because studies conducted revealed that the Zambian Government has been very responsive to the cervical cancer fight.

He said credit should go to the country's First Lady Christine Kaseba who was knowledgeable on matters of cervical cancer.

He was speaking in Livingstone yesterday when he together with his wife Laura and 20 US volunteers participated in the painting and refurbishing of Mosi-oa-Tunya Clinic which was in a deplorable state.

Mr Bush is in Zambia to support the Pink Ribbon-Red Ribbon initiative.

In Zambia, Pink Ribbon-Red Ribbon is an innovative partnership between the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), George W Bush Institute and the Zambian Government.

It also involves Susan G Komen for Cure, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), corporate as well as Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) partners.

Cervical and breast cancer are the two leading causes of deaths among women in sub-Sahara and Zambia has the second highest rate of cervical cancer in the world.

"The Government of Zambia is beginning to spread the Pink Ribbon-Red Ribbon Campaign throughout the country. We need to make people aware of this clinic so that they come here and get screened," Mr Bush said.

He said it was important to refurbish the clinic as it would provide health care and treat women with cervical cancer.

"We believe that all life is precious and we love coming back to Zambia. This facility was pretty run down and it needed help hence it has been cleaned with love," he said.

Mr Bush and his wife yesterday attended a church service at Roman Catholic's St Theresa congregation in Livingstone.

"I am Christian and Jesus Christ exists throughout the world. The church service was beautiful and I am glad we went there," he said.

And Central Province Clinical coordinator for cervical cancer screening services Mwamba Katema, who also participated in painting Mosi-oa-Tunya clinic, said the Livingstone clinic would benefit many women.

"The opening of cancer screening services in Livingstone gives me hope because more women will access the services unlike in the past when they had to travel to Lusaka or Kabwe to access such services," Dr Katema said.

Last year, Mr Bush joined local officials and other volunteers to refurbish Ngungu Health Centre in Kabwe where he opened a cervical cancer screening centre in the country.

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