Today was our last day in Mozambique. The last time I was in this country I led a large bipartisan Senate delegation introducing my colleagues to five countries in Southern Africa. That was four years ago. We spent a couple of nights in Maputo then, but on this trip we have made a point to travel outside of the capital city to different parts of the country. This is possible because of the single-engine Caravan plane and the dedicated missionary pilots of AIM AIR who have flown us places that would have been impossible to visit.
16 July 2008 I woke up at 3:30am this morning, left my son Harrison in the hotel room, and headed for our 4:30am departure to Nampula, Mozambique. We flew in a Cessna Caravan of AIM AIR with Capt. Dan Spooner. Capt. Spooner had taken me in AIM AIR with Samaritan's Purse about a year and a half ago to Darfur from Nairobi, Kenya and then into northern Uganda into the area of the Lord's Resistance Army.
In Maputo, Mozambique, today, I met with senior officials to discuss the progress of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact that Mozambique signed with the United States last summer.

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Contact: Jenny Dyer

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July 14, 2008

Frist Travels to Mozambique, Rwanda to See Lifesaving Work of U.S. Initiatives

Nashville, Tenn. – Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., is traveling throughout Mozambique and Rwanda July 13-22, observing the results of relief efforts by various U.S. government and nonprofit organizations. Sen. Frist is visiting worksites of several organizations in which he holds a leadership role, including Africare, Save the Children, The ONE Campaign, Samaritan’s Purse, the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

In addition to meeting with Presidents Armando Guebuza (Mozambique) and Paul Kagame (Rwanda), national leaders and local officials in both countries, Sen. Frist will visit primary schools, health care centers, HIV/AIDS clinics, food security programs and efforts to assist orphans and vulnerable children. He will observe cutting-edge, innovative technologies and examples of the public and private sectors coming together to create lasting change. After participating in surgery at the Heart Institute in Maputo, Mozambique, Sen. First will also visit orphan gorillas in Rwanda to help promote the conservation of their natural habitat.

Sen. Frist serves as the chairman of Hope Through Healing Hands (formerly known as World of Hope), a nonprofit organization devoted to improving the standard of living in communities both domestically and abroad. He is writing a daily blog for Hope Through Healing Hands’ website (www.hopethroughhealinghands.org) throughout his time in Africa. In addition, Sen. Frist will document his daily activities through photo and video updates, including a Youtube channel devoted to his travel.

This venture is a continuation of Sen. Frist’s annual trips to sub-Saharan Africa. For more than a decade, Sen. Frist has traveled to the region to perform surgery and provide basic health care to those in need. Creating access to quality health care in areas stricken with poverty, disease or violence can help lead to the establishment of peace, security and stability.

Sen. Frist often notes that medicine can serve as a currency for peace: “Medicine is the currency that overpowers division and hatred. After all, people don’t go to war with those who have just saved their child,” Frist said.

In 2004, Hope Through Healing Hands contributed nearly $3 million to battle HIV/AIDS both in the U.S. and abroad. Among the beneficiaries of that funding were Africare, Samaritan’s Purse and Save the Children.

In Rwanda, Sen. Frist will travel with The ONE Campaign’s high-profile delegation, which includes key political figures and senior advisors from both parties. Among those traveling with the group are former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Cindy McCain, John Podesta, Mike Huckabee, Leon Panetta and John Kasich. Sens. Frist and Daschle are co-chairs of ONE Vote ’08, a campaign committed to raising the importance of issues such as global health and international economic development in this presidential campaign. This Rwanda visit will highlight the opportunity for the next U.S. president to replicate proven successes across the continent and to make a significant impact in the fight against global poverty.

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Hope Through Healing Hands is a 501(c)3 promoting improved quality of life for communities around the world, distributing charitable contributions in support of infrastructure, education, healthcare, emergency relief, and access to general aid.

I had the privilege today to spend time right outside of Chimoio, Mozambique yesterday, in Vanduzi Town. Africare is doing some amazing work in this village called Project COPE. Africare, partnering with Habitat for Humanity and the government of Mozambique (who provided the land), had built 30 new homes for families in need, many of whom were suffering from HIV. The homes were made with 100% local supplies and modern materials, rather than the traditional homes in the area. They were painted in a handsome, ochre color, and they featured sloped roofs that reached almost to the ground in order to prevent the rains from damaging walls of the house over time.

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