Welcome on Behalf of the Host Country by the Secretary of Health and Human Services of the USA, Hon. Mike Leavitt
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"It is a distinct honor to share a podium here with such an esteemed and accomplished group of friends and neighbors. Thank you for making the trip to be here today, and moreover, for your tireless commitment to helping those in need. This is a commitment that we feel very strongly about here in the United States, and are working hard to live up to. Last month, I traveled to four countries in Africa to visit our partners who are fighting the twin scourges of AIDS and malaria. I must tell you that the magnitude of the need for this help was breathtaking. Too many children have been orphaned by AIDS. Too many parents have lost children to malaria...One thing became very clear during my trips to Africa and to Haiti this summer: Health care is truly an international language of caring. Everywhere we went, people understood, without a word being said, that we were their friends. The efforts I have described today are a meaningful start to an important change, but they are just a start. There is so much more to do—both in providing care directly, and in training more health workers so they can provide high-quality care in their communities...look forward to continuing our strong partnership through PAHO to speak to those in need in the “language of caring,” and to share health and wellbeing with those less fortunate."
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