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- Shealah Craighead/The White House via Getty Images
Former American President, George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush have been in Zambia since Friday on a private visit in support of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon(PRRR). PRRR is an organization that was initiated to address the high rates of cervical cancer in Zambia (2nd highest in the world, after Guinea).
The initiative started in 2011 on an $85m kitty, with the goal of reducing deaths related to cervical cancer by a quarter, and to make it easier for women to access health care services.
They are currently in Livingstone, a major tourist hub that is located 300 miles south of Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia. They have already participated in the renovation of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya health center, one of the many health facilities that are used to provide screening facilities for breast and cervical cancer. Laura Bush also visited a USAID-sponsored farming initiative for local initiative
The program is active in Zambia and Botswana. Over the past 18 months, the program has tested more than 40,000 women; 18% were found to be positive, and subsequently 80% of the affected patients were started on medication immediately.
The Bush Family visit in Zambia will last four days, and then they will travel to Tanzania for the African First Ladies Summit, scheduled to be held on 2-3 July. This is the third trip Bush is making to Africa, his last one being in 2012. During that visit, the bush family was involved in the renovation of a clinic used to screen for breast and cervical cancer in Kabwe, located ninety miles to the north of Lusaka.
In Tanzania, Fmr. Pres. Bush and Mrs. Bush will both deliver keynote addresses in a meeting that will be attended by Michelle Obama, the U.S. First Lady, several African First Ladies, and other high profile individuals.
By Matengo Chwanya