Skip to comments.Laura Bush Calls Attention to AIDS Battle in Africa
Posted on 07/12/2005 12:22:18 AM PDT by Crackingham
Laura Bush is shining a spotlight on the Bush administration's many-pronged battle against AIDS in Africa. Starting a three-nation African tour, Mrs. Bush on Tuesday was visiting a program that works to prevent more AIDS orphans in a country where about one-quarter of babies are born to a mother infected with the virus that causes AIDS.
The Khayelitsha Maternity Obstetrics Unit, part of an organization called The Mothers' Programmes, which benefits from U.S. assistance, enlists mothers who have kept from transmitting the disease to their own children to mentor new expectant mothers. Located in a depressed area of Cape Town, the project also helps mothers and mothers-to-be - who are often unwed and unemployed - generate extra income. Mrs. Bush was to watch women make colorful beaded cell phone pouches, lanyards and other products that will be sold overseas.
Later Tuesday, Mrs. Bush was holding a discussion with South Africans involved in the fight against domestic violence and delivering a speech to advertise a new initiative, unveiled earlier this month by President Bush, to provide legal protections for African women victimized by violence and sexual abuse. The president said he wants $55 million over three years for that effort.
Mrs. Bush is aiming to highlight how fighting domestic violence is a key part of battling the AIDS crisis in South Africa, which has more people infected with HIV than any other country, and across the continent. Many African women become infected with the disease because their husbands have unprotected sex with others and then force sex on them.
The president has sought $15 billion over five years to combat AIDS, mostly in Africa. In 2005, anti-AIDS spending in South Africa will total $149 million, according to the U.S. Embassy.
Mrs. Bush - a former public school librarian, avowed bookworm and high-profile advocate of reading - chose the Centre for the Book as the backdrop for the second event. Part of the National Library of South Africa, it promotes indigenous writing and helps develop a culture of reading among South Africans, particularly children.
Why not get involved with a subject someone in the US gives a damn about? LIKE THE BORDERS.
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