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The Bush’s Are Going To Africa

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(credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush will travel to Africa next week; the same time as President Obama. The Bush’s will visit Livingstone, Zambia as part of a program to combat cervical cancer. They plan to help refurbish a clinic, which will serve as a cervical cancer screening and treatment center. Then it’s off to Tanzania for the former first couple, where Laura Bush has organized a forum for African first ladies.

This is the second time they will travel to Zambia to advocate for women affected by the disease. Last year, Mr. and Mrs. Bush helped restore a clinic in Kabwe, Zambia, where nearly 30,000 women have been treated since, according to his presidential center. They will help renovate and reopen the Livingstone clinic on July 1; a team of four Southern Methodist University students left Friday to work on the reconstruction.

The plight of women and children in Africa isn’t a new cause by any means for Mr. and Mrs. Bush. During his presidency, Bush initiated the Millennium Challenge program, which brought billions of dollars in development to help countries that engaged in reform. His President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or Pepfar, funneled lifesaving drugs to millions of Africans suffering from H.I.V. Launched a decade ago, Pepfar is the largest international initiative ever directed toward a single disease.

Visitors to the newly opened George W. Bush Presidential Center may view a large exhibit devoted to Pepfar.

Bush teamed up with Pepfar, the United Nations and Susan G. Komen for the Cure and pharmaceutical companies, to help form Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, which is devoted to curbing cervical cancer and breast cancer. It started in Zambia in 2011 and expanded to Botswana in 2012.

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