Honoring World Health Workers
President George W. Bush and Laura Bush visited Africa during World Health Worker Week to pay tribute to the success of the fight against HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS has been decimating communities in Africa and Asia, causing terrible emotional, physical, and economic suffering. However, after years of concerted effort, there is hope that the tide on this dreaded disease is beginning to turn.
Without the perseverance and incredible dedication of health workers worldwide, we would not be winning the battle against HIV/AIDS. So during World Health Worker Week, Planet Aid is paying special tribute to health workers on the frontline of the battle against HIV/AIDS and other epidemic diseases, whose contributions have helped save so many lives.
Total Control of the Epidemic
Planet Aid is helping to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS through its support of the Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) project. TCE seeks to mobilize behavior change throughout the general population and at-risk groups. The project works in line with the UN's 90-90-90 strategy, a targeted approach aimed at finding and testing individuals who do not yet know their HIV status and facilitating treatment for those who test positive. The backbone of the TCE program are its health workers (called “field officers”) and community volunteers, who counsel individuals, facilitate testing, distribute condoms, and much much more.
PEPFAR Saving Lives
This week President George W. Bush and Laura Bush visited the countries of Botswana and Namibia to praise the incredible work that has been done to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS under Bush's signature program PEPFAR. During their visit to Namibia, the two met with 30 beneficiaries of a program involving TCE workers and aimed at preventing HIV positive pregnant mothers from infecting their babies (PMTCT) at a hospital in Windhoek. (TCE is implemented in Namibia by Planet Aid's sister organization DAPP Namibia.)
The mothers thanked the Bushes, expressing their joy of having given birth to healthy babies, free of HIV, despite carrying the virus themselves. TCE was launched in Namibia in 2005 in the Oshana and Omusati regions and part of Ohangwena and Oshikoto, and its work fighting HIV/AIDS continues to this day in many parts of the nation.
"I hope our government when they analyze what works around the world will understand that PEPFAR has saved over 11 million lives."
—President George W. Bush speaking in Botswana April 4, 2017, quoted in DailyMail.com
President Bush told the group assembled at the hospital that the American people will be happy to hear that this program is working. He explained that one of the ways to control further infections is ensuring that young people are tested for HIV on the continent.