July 4, 2012 – LUSAKA, Zambia – /PRNewswire/ — During a visit to the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka today, President George W. Bush, Mrs. Laura Bush, First Lady of Zambia Dr. Christine Kaseba, Zambian Minister of Health Dr. J Kasonde and United States Ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella dedicated the African Center of Excellence for Women’s Cancer Control. President Bush also announced the donation of a new electronic hub (e-Hub) at the Center of Excellence, on behalf of all Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon ® (PRRR) members and partners.

In addition, President Bush announced assistance to PRRR from Airborne Lifeline, a nonprofit organization that will provide airfreight services for medical equipment and transport medical personnel and patients as well as the support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation, which has provided the funding for a Health Promotion Manager who will be hired and based in Africa to support PRRR activities.

Liz Thompson, President of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Colleen J. McGuffin, Vice President of Health Engagement & Customer Value at Merck Vaccines and Dr. Allan Pamba, Director of Public Engagement & Access Initiatives at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) were on hand to announce PRRR initiatives supporting the Republic of Zambia and the fight against women’s cancers, demonstrating the deep commitment of PRRR members and partners in expanding the availability of vital cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment, and breast care education to those in need.

The vision of the African Center of Excellence for Women’s Cancer Control is to reduce deaths from women’s cancers in the African region by raising the standards of care through education, training and research, with a focus on primary and secondary prevention and treatment of early stage disease.

The e-Hub, also called the electronic matrix, is a unique platform that permits distance learning and point of care to support and narrow the health workforce gap that exists in Zambia and across many countries in Africa.

PRRR member announcements included:

Susan G. Komen for the Cure®:
Through a Komen grant, the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) is establishing the Cancer Prevention Alliance of Zambia, which convenes existing breast and cervical cancer advocacy organizations in Zambia in order to coordinate strategies and share best practices. Additionally, in partnership with Merck, Komen will begin scaling up breast and cervical cancer education to increase knowledge and awareness and reduce stigma throughout Zambia in coordination with local NGOs, the Zambian government, the U.S. government and PRRR partners. Komen also announced a grant of $200,000 USD to develop and implement and provide a breast cancer training curriculum that will address gaps in the breast cancer continuum of care. Merck

Merck, through its partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, will support the African Center of Excellence for Women’s Cancer Control and other activities as described above. Merck will also support the Zambian Ministry of Health’s plans to conduct a demonstration project across the province of Lusaka by donating doses of GARDASIL® [Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18) Vaccine, Recombinant] to vaccinate 25,000 girls and will provide technical support for the program.

GSK will support PRRR in its proposed pilot vaccination program in Zambia. This pilot project aims to provide key learnings that could help develop an effective national immunization program in the country. As part of its commitment announced in September 2011, GSK will donate doses of its cervical cancer vaccine, Cervarix™* [Human Papillomavirus vaccine [Types 16, 18] (Recombinant, adjuvanted, adsorbed)] to vaccinate 10,000 girls. The program is subject to government approval. Cervarix™ is not yet licensed in Zambia, but it is currently undergoing review with the Zambian regulatory authorities.

About Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon:
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is an innovative partnership formed by the George W. Bush Institute, the U.S. Department of State President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) that leverages public and private investments and existing health infrastructures to combat cervical and breast cancer, the two leading causes of cancer deaths among women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Other members and partners include Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, B-D, QIAGEN, Caris Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, IBM, Airborne Lifeline and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

About the George W. Bush Institute:
The George W. Bush Institute (GWBI) advances freedom by developing and supporting initiatives that expand opportunity for individuals around the world. The Institute places an emphasis on programs that support human freedom, education reform, global health and economic growth. In all of its programming, the Institute empowers women and military service members. GWBI is the policy arm of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which will include the Presidential Museum and Library, and is located on the campus of SMU in Dallas. For more information, please visit www.bushcenter.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the U.S. Government initiative to save the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS around the world. This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and PEPFAR investments also help alleviate suffering from other diseases across the global health spectrum. PEPFAR is driven by a shared responsibility among donor and partner nations and others to make smart investments to save lives. For more information about PEPFAR, visit www.PEPFAR.gov, http://twitter.com/pepfar, or www.facebook.com/PEPFAR

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure®:
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure and Komen 3-Day for the Cure, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.

UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, is an innovative United Nations partnership that leads and inspires the world in achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. For more information visit: www.unaids.org

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