George W. Bush photo

Remarks During a Visit to Amana District Hospital in Dar es Salaam

February 17, 2008

President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania. Mr. President, First Lady, my dear wife—Mr. President, welcome again to Amana Hospital. Well, let me use this opportunity to thank you so much, again, for PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Through PEPFAR, we got these two buildings, a facility we just visited and, again, this clinic. In Dar es Salaam, there are three of these buildings, one in each of the districts, and then we have five smaller ones. About 40 patients have been registered, and 24 are already on ARVs, because they are eligible. I'm not a doctor, but they say the levels of CD4 count, then they reach a certain level above 300, where they say, now they have got to go to start treatment.

Well, the significance of this is the people we have around here. There is Tatu. She has her own story to tell, I'm sure. There is a couple—Steven, where is the wife? Where is your wife? Bring the wife here. Janet? This is Janet; this is Steven. They are a couple. And when she was pregnant, she was diagnosed as being HIV-positive. So then she was—she came under care and treatment. The baby there is healthy.

So we can see, these are some of the typical examples of the success of this kind—this program. Had they not—had there not been a program to test them, well, they might not be there. So one of the advantages is that their son is healthy; they are under treatment; they are healthy; they are doing their own work. So that son is lucky. He is not orphaned, thanks to the PEPFAR program.

And then we have—Honorati Shirima— yes, and ex-military, I'm told—yes, retired. But I'm told when he came here, he was in very bad shape. He was in bad, bad shape. He was almost dying. So he started the program of ARVs, and you can see how he looks now. He looks healthy; he looks much better than what he was.

So all that I can say, President, is words of appreciation and thanksgiving. It has done a tremendous job. You know Tatu; you know her story. She was in Congress recently. So I can tell you—this is what I can say to welcome you, is to thank you.

President Bush. Thank you, sir.

President Kikwete. Thank you so much for the initiative. It has done so much for our people. It has given a future—as I was saying this morning, many children now have been saved from being orphans, and the example is that man and this girl here. So thank you so much, Mr. President.

President Bush. Well, Mr. President, thanks for having us. I really appreciate you suggesting a stop here at the Amana Hospital District. The American people have built two of the wings of this hospital, and I wanted to come here precisely to let the American people know how important their generosity is to the—to helping save lives.

And, doc, I thank you for setting up this meeting. We're so honored to be with the doctors and the healers as well as those who have been helped by the program. One of the main reasons that I want to make sure the American people know that this program is successful is because I want this program to continue to be funded. It's in our national interests that the American generosity continue beyond my Presidency.

And so, Mr. President, one way to send a clear message to the good people of our country is that their generosity is saving lives. And we really appreciate those whose lives have been saved, to come and share their stories. And, Tatu, it's good to see you again. She was at the State of the Union Address, she and Faith, sitting with Laura and our two daughters. And your smile is bright today as it was then. [Laughter] So it's good to see you. And, Doctor, thank you.

President Kikwete. She has hope. Now she has hope for the future.

President Bush. She has hope and Faith. [Laughter]

NOTE: The President spoke at 1:35 p.m. In his remarks, he referred to Chalamilla E. Guerino, field director of HIV and AIDS care and treatment, Amana District Hospital; and HIV patients Tatu Msangi and her daughter Faith Mang'ehe, Janet and Steven Rogers and their son Steven, Jr., and Honorati V. Shirima. President Kikwete referred to his wife Mama Salma Kikwete of Tanzania.

George W. Bush, Remarks During a Visit to Amana District Hospital in Dar es Salaam Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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