Former U.S. President George W. Bush will travel next month to Africa to raise awareness about cervical and breast cancer.
Bush, former first lady Laura Bush and officials with the George W. Bush Institute are heading to Tanzania, Zambia and Ethiopia from Dec. 1 through Dec. 5, where they’ll visit clinics and meet with governmental and health care leaders.
In 2003, Bush launched the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, to expand AIDS prevention, treatment and support programs in countries hit hard by the epidemic.
The new program, called the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon initiative, seeks to expand the availability of cervical cancer screening and treatment and breast care education in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.
Bush said existing AIDS clinics will be used to screen and treat cervical cancer, which is four to five times more common among those living with HIV than those who don’t have the virus. Last year, 3.2 million people received antiretroviral treatments as a result of PEPFAR.
The initiative is a partnership among several organizations, including the Bush Institute, PEPFAR and the United Nations’ program on HIV and AIDS. Its goal is to reduce deaths by 25 percent in five years among women screened and treated through the initiative.
Source: The Washington Post