ly-mail.co.zm” class=”f”>Zambia Daily Mail by Online Editor on 6/28/13
Former US President George Bush arrived in Livingstone yesterday for a private visit. Above, from left, former US First Lady Laura Bush, Southern Province permanent secretary Bernard Namachila, Mr Bush and Livingstone Town Clerk Vivian Chikoti. – Picture by NANCY MWAPE.
By NANCY MWAPE
FORMER United States President George Bush and his wife Laura have arrived in Livingstone on a private visit to support the Pink and Red Ribbon campaign on curbing deaths among women resulting from cervical and breast cancer.
The couple arrived in Livingstone to continue their commitment to helping people in Africa through their global health initiative at the George W Bush Institute.
The couple was welcomed by Livingstone Town Clerk Vivian Chikoti, Southern Province permanent secretary Bernard Namachila and other senior government officials, American officials and a cultural dance troupe.
Cervical cancer and breast cancer are the two leading causes of death among women in the world.
While in Livingstone, Mr Bush and his team will work with Zambian officials, US Embassy officials, volunteers and staff from the Bush Institute to renovate a health clinic in the tourist capital.
It is hoped that this will strengthen Zambia’s ability to detect and treat cervical cancer.
Work on the Mosi-oa-Tunya Clinic began this week. It is being done by volunteers from Dallas and a group of students from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where the George W Bush Presidential Centre is located.
This is the second time President Bush and his wife are in Zambia for this purpose.
Last year in July, they renovated and opened the Ngungu Health Centre in Kabwe, which is now one of the busiest in Zambia.
Many health workers have been trained and are serving at 10 new “screen and treat” health facilities, eight of which offer procedures of diagnosing and early treatment invasion of cancers.
With the launch of the Pink and Red Ribbon initiative in Zambia in December 2011, more than 40,000 Zambian women have been screened for cervical cancer.
The goal of the Pink and Red Ribbon campaign is to reduce deaths from cervical cancer by an estimated 25 percent among women screened and treated through the initiative.
Zambia’s First Lady, Christine Kaseba-Sata, a practising obstetrician and gynecologist, helped launch the Pink and Red Ribbon Initiative.
The initiative is further aimed at significantly increasing access to breast and cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment to create innovative models that can be scaled up and used globally.
In Zambia, the Pink and Red Ribbon campaign is an innovative partnership involving the US President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS (PEPFAR), the George Bush Institute, the Zambian Government, the Susan Komen for the Cure, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS as well as corporate and non-government partners.
Mrs Bush will also visit the Nsongwe Women Farmers Association, which has been funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to produce vegetables.
The Nsongwe Women’s Association has 23 members who have 121 dependants. Prior to the establishment of the association, there was little or no economic activity in the area.