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.
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.
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.
We were up at 6 am and off to the airport. Things took just a bit longer to clear customs for our flight to Kigali, Rwanda, so we were delayed us just a bit. We left Mozambique after a full four and a half days, with many great memories.
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.