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Remarks By President Bush and President Kikwete of Tanzania at Roundtable on Pepfar

Amana District Hospital

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

1:35 P.M. (L)

PRESIDENT KIKWETE: 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 -- 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 (inaudible). I'm not a doctor, but they say the levels of (inaudible) 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 your wife here. 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 came under care and treatment. The baby there, he is healthy.

So we can see, these are some of the typical examples of the success of 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.

Then we have Honorati Shirima -- yes, and ex-military, I'm told -- 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 (inaudible). So thank you so much.

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.

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.)

SOURCE White House Press Office
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