Former United States President George W. Bush has praised the Zambian government for its commitment in the fight HIV/AIDS.
Mr. Bush said Zambia’s commitment is evident by the increased budgetary allocation to the country’s health sector.
ZANIS reports that Mr. Bush was speaking when Zambia’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Palan Mulonda paid a courtesy call on him at his Bush Institute Office at George W. Bush Presidential Centre on the Campus of the southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
“I am happy with the Zambian government for its commitment to the fight HIV/AIDS as evident by the budgetary allocation to the health sector. I also strongly believe that the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is a divine intervention for Africa. Most of the affected countries on the continent are taking more responsibility over the fight against HIV/AIDS”, he said.
Ambassador Mulonda and Mr. Bush discussed among other issues the Global Health with a focus on the Pink Ribbon-Red Ribbon Initiative (PRRR) against cervical and breast cancer.
Mr. Bush explained that there was need to take advantage of Zambia’s youthful population to create innovation hubs (I-hubs) that would develop technological solutions to the many challenges faced by Zambia in a number of areas including the delivery of health services.
He noted that the positive results from PEPFAR could be wiped out if cervical and breast cancer screening and treatment were not addressed.
He further noted that former US First Lady Laura Bush would be hosting an African First Lady’s Conference on Cervical Cancer in Dares Salaam, Tanzania in July this year which the Zambian First Lady is also expected to attend.
Mr. Bush has meanwhile lauded the Zambian First Lady, Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata’s leadership and commitment to health related issues.
And in response, Ambassador Mulonda said the Zambian government, under President Michael
Sata, has increased the budgetary allocation to the health sector in line with its vision of making health service delivery sustainable in the long term.
Ambassador Mulonda later held a meeting with Dr. Eric Bing, a senior fellow and Director of Global Health at the Bush Institute and Dr. Doyin Oluwole, who is the Executive Director of the Pink Ribbon-Red Ribbon Initiative (PRRR).
Dr. Bing has co-authored a book entitled: “Pharmacy on a Bicycle” which proposes innovation solutions for global health and Poverty Reduction with a number of examples drawn from the developing world.
PRRR partners include PEPFAR, Susan G. Komen, Bristol- Myers Squibb, Merck, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BD Products, UNAIDS, Qiagen, CARIS Foundation, IBM and GlaxoSmithKline.
Ambassador Mulonda was later taken on a conducted tour of the Bush Presidential Museum.