Bush praises Uganda's fight against AIDS

U.S. President George Bush visits Uganda Friday, tells leaders they are front-runners in the fight against AIDS

President George Bush visited an AIDS clinic in Uganda Friday, declaring that the country is proving the deadly disease can be beaten.

Bush, who met with about two dozen patients, praised Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for his government's AIDS awareness efforts.

Bush spent four hours in the east-central African country, the fourth stop in his five-country tour of the continent.

He promised to spend $15 billion US to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean.

During the 1980s and 1990s, a rising HIV/AIDS population ravaged Uganda's population. Under a government-run public education campaign promoting condom use, abstinence and monogamy, the infection rate dropped to about five per cent of the country's 24 million people.

Ray Blundell, a Baptist missionary from Texas who works in Uganda, says the country needs American help as soon as possible.

"Just do what he's proposing to do...with the AIDS help and all of this. Just get on with it and do it," said Blundell.

Bush later flew to Nigeria, the final stop on his tour. He has no official events scheduled until Saturday.