Washington - Former United States president George W. Bush on Thursday launched a $3-million initiative to fight cervical cancer in Botswana on the last stop of an Africa tour.

The funds would be used to improve treatment and streamline operations at the Princess Marina hospital, south of the capital Gaborone.

“It is important to empower women and make a positive change in their lives,” said Bush as he launched the programme.

The project is funded by the President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) and supported by the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in Botswana and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for women in the country. Women living with HIV are more at risk of being affected by the disease.

Bush this week started his trip in Zambia, where he launched a clinic, in a joint venture between the George Bush Institute and the Zambian government.

Last year, Bush and his wife Laura opened a campaign for cervical and breast cancer treatment in one of the country's slums. - AFP