Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Red Ribbon Pink Ribbon

Today President Bush is announcing a major initiative with Komen and the UN to combine screening for women's cancers to HIV screening and treatment programs in Africa. I will moderate a panel with the esteemed Dr. Anthony Fauci of NIH and Ambassador Eric Goosby, the President's Global Aids coordinator - a pioneer in the fight against HIV. We will also speak with Dr. Groesbeck Parham who has initiated a ground breaking method of using household vinegar and a flashlight to screen 65,000 women in Zambia for cervical cancer and Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai of Ghana - the first female surgeon in Ghana and a breast cancer advocate. She brought the Komen Race for a cure to Ghana for the first time in May. These pioneers are going to help so many women. 90 percent of cervical cancer deaths occur in the developing world. 275,000 women died of cervical cancer around the world last year. About 450,000 died of breast cancer. Cervical cancer is the second most deadly cancer for women in the developing world after breast cancer. President and Mrs. Bush have made this global health initiative their first priority. President Bush's PEPFAR (President's Emergency Program for Aids Relief) from 2003 has provided 1.2 million people in Africa with antiretroviral drugs as of 2008 and saved millions of lives. There are 1.3 million new cases of breast cancer diagnosed each year. The survival rate in the US is 89 percent. In Gambia it is 12 percent.
Stay tuned.