NPR’s ‘Weekend Edition Saturday’ Profiles Former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda’s AIDS Efforts
NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday" this week profiled Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia's first president and one of the few African leaders who "waged an early and public fight" against HIV/AIDS. "[T]he specter of AIDS was already rising" in the country when Kaunda left office in 1991, and the president decided to call attention to the disease before stepping down. Before he left office, Kaunda publicly announced that his son had died of AIDS-related causes, "something no other African leader has since done," NPR reports. Kaunda now travels all over the world to talk about AIDS and to persuade donors from wealthier nations to give money to some of his "many projects," which include shelters for orphans, school fees to educate children and radio stations that "will break the silence that keeps Africa in the grip of AIDS." Kaunda hopes that his experience as a public leader will help him garner more donations for his Children of Africa Foundation. "We need others to sacrifice, also, for the sake of Africa, for the good of Africa. Come and help fight AIDS, otherwise the continent will perish," Kaunda said (Wilson, "Weekend Edition Saturday," NPR, 1/12). An audio version of the Kaunda profile can be found online at the NPR Web site.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.