Gaborone — Former United States of America President, Mr George W Bush and his wife, Ms Laura Bush will visit Botswana and Namibia from tomorrow to Thursday.
A press release from the Dallas-based George W. Bush Institute (GWBI) says Mr Bush's visit to Africa is the seventh since he left office and it demonstrates the couple's continued commitment to people of Africa through the work of GWBI global leadership programmes.
"The trip will highlight the Bush Institute-affiliated Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon®, a global partnership to fight women's cancers, and the Bush Institute's First Ladies Initiative, which engages and supports first ladies from around the world to effectively use their unique platforms to advance issues for women and girls," says the release.
The release says in Botswana and Namibia, former US President and Ms Bush will celebrate remarkable progress made over the past two decades to address challenges of disease, poverty and security, and the critical role that US foreign aid has played in delivering life-saving treatment for HIV/AIDS to nearly 12 million people.
"Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, launched in 2011 by the Bush Institute, President's Emergency Programme For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), UNAIDS and Susan Komen, along with other private and public partners builds upon the HIV/AIDS platform to combat cervical and breast cancer in the developing world," says the release.
Since its inception, as per the release, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon worked with Botswana government from 2012 and through the ongoing partnership, more than 22 000 women have been screened for cervical cancer and more than 70 000 girls have been vaccinated against the human papilloma virus (HPV) in Botswana.
While in Botswana, the couple will also visit a clinic providing screening and treatment services for cervical cancer, discuss new technologies for fighting cervical cancer, and visit a school representative of the country's vaccination programme.
"As of December 2016, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners have screened more than 370 000 women for cervical cancer," adds the release.
In Namibia, former US President and his wife will focus on how improving lives of women and girls with access to education, health care, and economic opportunity leads to increased stability and security, and specifically how First Ladies address these issues in their countries.
Mr and Ms Bush will also visit programmes supported by the First Lady of Namibia, Madame Monica Geingos, through her One Economy Foundation. Additionally, the couple will also visit facilities in Windhoek being prepared for Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon's expected service launch at health facilities across Namibia in spring.
This visit will be Mr Bush's seventh and Ms Bush's sixth to the African continent, since their time in the White House. Their previous travel included visits to other Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partner countries, being; Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana, and Ethiopia.
This is their first trip to Namibia and second trip to Botswana in the post-Presidency.
Source : BOPA