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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
January 18, 2006
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at a Visit to St. Mary's Hospital in Nigeria
9:20 A.M. (Local)
MRS. BUSH: I'm so happy to be here today with Sister Elizabeth and everyone here at St. Mary's to announce the shipment of the antiretrovirals and drugs that are behind me that are the first part of a shipment of antiretroviral drugs to St. Mary's Hospital. The United States -- PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- has had a relationship with St. Mary's Hospital for a while. We started out by funding the mother-to-child transmission -- or the stopping of the mother-to-child transmission of HIV. And then our support has grown, as St. Mary's has grown.
So today, what's behind me will be the first of a shipment for antiretroviral treatment for 500 people. Already in Nigeria, about 29,000 people have been treated with funds from PEPFAR. Behind you, in a little bit, we'll inaugurate the opening of St. Mary's new laboratory because comprehensive drug treatment with antiretrovirals requires laboratory tests to make sure people are really receiving the treatment they need. And the United States, through PEPFAR, is proud to have been able to help St. Mary's by buying some of the laboratory equipment that will be in this new lab.
I met earlier this morning with President Obasanjo who stood with President Bush and Kofi Annan in the Rose Garden in Washington, D.C., as they announced the Global Fund for AIDS. He has been a partner all along in trying to get treatment to as many people as possible in Nigeria to stop the spread of AIDS and to treat people so people can live a normal life with AIDS.
I also want to announce today -- and this is new -- that the United States will commit $163 million this year to Nigeria to treat AIDS, treat people with AIDS, to try to prevent the spread of AIDS and to make HIV/AIDS treatment possible for many more people here in Nigeria.
So it's my honor to get to be here today with you. Thank you for your very, very good work.