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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Press Remarks Following Visit to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital
Pretoria, South Africa, December 8, 2000
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
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QUESTION: What did you think of your visit?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: First of all, I want to thank everybody here for having given me a remarkable tour and a great sense of dedication by the staff here to what is clearly a tragic situation that they are trying to make better. I was very pleased to be able to meet with the new mothers and to play with some of the little children who are about the same size as my grandchildren and feel that the work being done here is very important. I wanted especially to come to this fine center. It's one of 11 that our National Institutes of Health has helped to set up and to show that the United States wants to do as much as possible to assist in dealing with this dread disease that has killed more people in Africa than the wars and to see it not only as a health issue but a security issue; a message that we have been delivering from the United States, but it's one thing to deliver it, it's another to see it. So I'm very grateful to everyone.

QUESTION: Can you tell us where we are at with the issue of access to anti-retrovirals with the U.S. drug companies?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: President Clinton has changed a lot of the directives on this; trying to make the drugs available and trying to deal with the problem of intellectual property rights, having changed some of the standards on what needs to be done in the local countries, in order to be able to have access. I just met before I left with representatives of some drug companies in the United States, with an attempt to, I think, get them to be even more proactive and it is something certainly of interest that I will take back.

Thank you all.

[End of Document]
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