Former President Bush ends week long trip to Africa
George W. Bush and Laura Bush wrapped up a week-long trip to Africa Friday, where they visited Zambia and Botswana promoting an initiative to fight cervical cancer and breast cancer in the countries.
As part of the charity initiative the Bushes helped open medical centers providing cancer screenings, visited sick children at an orphanage, and met with Peace Corps members, according to the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
The couple returned to Texas on Friday, Bush's 66th birthday. Dozens of photos from the trip were recently released on the Center's website.
The Bushes spent Independence Day in Lusaka, Zambia at the University Teaching Hospital, announcing a new health research center. "On our country's birthday, it is important to remember the blessings of freedom and the blessings of being an American, and to give back," Bush said during remarks at the hospital, according to the website.
The $3 million women's health initiative, called Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, is a partnership between the George W. Bush Institute, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, UNAIDS and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Since leaving office the former president has turned his attention to health issues in Africa -- which he calls a "labor of love" -- raising some $85 million for cervical cancer programs, Catholic Online reported.
Zambia has the second highest number of cervical cancer cases in the world, and many of the women are also living with HIV.
"The saddest thing of all is to know a lady's life has been saved from AIDS but died from cervical cancer," Bush said in a statement announcing the health program.
During his presidency, Bush launched an initiative to fight HIV/AIDS in sub-Sahara Africa.