Bush commends Namibia for progress on HIV/Aids

05 Apr 2017 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 05 APR (NAMPA) – Former president of the United States of America, George Bush has expressed his satisfaction with the progress Namibia has made over the years to address health challenges such as HIV/Aids.
Bush and his wife Laura arrived in Namibia Wednesday morning after visiting Botswana.
The US government has this year committed US.dollars 2,5 million (approximately N.dollars 32,5 million) through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Pepfar) to advance efforts to screen for and treat cervical cancer by building on Pepfar-supported HIV/Aids service delivery.
Upon his arrival, Bush visited the maternal ward at the Windhoek Central Hospital, where he met with women who are on the life-saving Anti-retroviral Treatment (ART).
The women thanked the US government for committing money to provide HIV prevention treatment.
Helena Ushona, an HIV patient said she was diagnosed with HIV virus some years back. She is now mother to two children who were born free from the virus.
“I went through Prevention of Mother-To-Child Treatment,” she said.
Four per cent of babies are born with the HIV virus in Namibia.
Lucrecia Kudumo was also diagnosed with HIV but now has a baby that is free from the virus.
She is on ART.
Bush told the women that they are in Namibia to see how the Pepfar programme is running and understand how practical and effective it is in the country.
He said 11 million of people in Africa are living on anti-retroviral treatment.
“This is very good, but there are still men and women who need to be tested,” he said.
He commended the Namibian Government for caring and for valuing its people.
“The government of Namibia cares and values people and it is doing a lot. We are here for people like you and we want to help you,” Bush told the women.
Bush will also visit programmes supported by First Lady Monica Geingos, through her One Economy Foundation.
Additionally, the former US president and his wife are visiting facilities in Windhoek being prepared for Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon services.
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon - launched in 2011 by the Bush Institute along with other private and public partners builds upon the HIV/Aids platform to combat cervical and breast cancer in the developing world.
This is Bush’s seventh visit to Africa since his time in the White House, but it is his first trip to Namibia and second to Botswana in post-presidency.
He and his delegation leave Namibia on Thursday.