This interview was taken in Rwanda while Sen. Bill Frist, MD was traveling with The ONE Campaign's delegation to learn more about the country, its initiatives, and what America can do to provide sustainable support.

In the 14 years since its genocide, Rwanda has made one of the most remarkable postwar comebacks of any poverty-level country in history -- in public health, agriculture, tourism, small business, and technology. The high-profile bipartisan American delegation of former government officials that visited the country last week witnessed solid economic growth as it assessed Rwanda’s needs for the future.
Today we are focusing on Health issues. An unhealthy society cannot be productive no matter how much money is spent or how much aid is given—by the U.S. or any other nation for that matter. Health is fundamental. It is a precondition to prosperity.
How in the world can you take an economy in which over 50% of the population is under the poverty level, is landlocked, ranks somewhere around 160th out of 180 countries on the “Developmental Scale,” and even think about “making extreme poverty history?” as we in ONE like to say.
Bi-partisan group including two former U.S. Senators and the wife of Republican hopeful John McCain are in Rwanda to witness some of the successful development projects taking place there. Thomas Rippe reports from Kigali.

The first stop this morning was the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center. John Podesta and I laid a wreath at the mass grave site of the genocide victims. I had the opportunity to do this last year when I was in Rwanda with Samaritan’s Purse, Scott Hughett, and my wife, Karyn (who is at home now recuperating from back surgery). The site and the service in which we participated are a moving, memorial remembrance of the million people who died over those 100 days of genocide.

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