By Alicia M. Cohn - 07/03/12 08:40 PM EDT
“I believe that quiet service is the best service,” said the former Republican president in the video. “You're always a former president, but I wanted to come here as a laborer, try to sneak in the country. I didn't do a very good job of it.”
George and Laura Bush have been in Africa since the weekend, according to media reports, to help promote an initiative aimed at prevention of cervical and breast cancer in Africa.
“I believe freedom is important for peace, and I believe one aspect of freedom is for people to be free from disease,” Bush said in the video.
The clinic he and the former first lady helped to refurbish will provide screening, diagnosis and treatment for cervical cancer.
“I do want to be able to say that on this particular trip, that myself and friends have left behind a clinic in hopes to inspire others to come and refurbish clinics as well and to encourage the Zambian government to make sure there are the healthcare works necessary to make sure the clinic doesn't sit there empty,” he said.
Bush planned to meet with the Zambian president on Tuesday in the capital city of Lusaka, he said.
"I'll be wearing a coat and tie tomorrow," he added, acknowledging his paint-spattered T-shirt, jeans and Cleveland baseball cap.
Another video posted by the Bush Center shows the Bushes painting and helping with the manual labor involved in refurbishing the Ngungu Health Center in Kabwe, Zambia.
Cervical cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer of women in southern Africa, according to Dr. Groesbeck Parham, director of the Cervical Cancer Prevention Program at the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ), who was with the Bushes at the clinic.
Parham declared that Bush was being “modest” about his role in the initiative.
"What he's doing today, and the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon initiative, is the most important thing that's ever happened on this continent as it relates to the prevention of cervical cancer," Parham said.
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is a women's health initiative involving work by the George W. Bush Institute, the State Department, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).