EHS-COVID (64) WHO: World leaders commit to eliminate cervical cancer (2)

18 November, 2020

(This message is mainly about cervical cancer but includes a useful summary of impact of COVID-19 on cancer prevention and control.)

On 30 October we forwarded a press release from WHO

https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2020/11/17/default-calendar/...

Followed by a comment from me: "I would like to invite a HIFA volunteer to look at the links between access to reliable information to prevent and manage cervical cancer (whether of the general public or health workers) and health outcomes." If you can help, please let me know: neil@hifa.org

In the meantime, WHO has issued a further press release: A cervical cancer-free future: First-ever global commitment to eliminate a cancer

https://www.who.int/news/item/17-11-2020-a-cervical-cancer-free-future-f...

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17 November 2020

WHO‘s Global Strategy to Accelerate the Elimination of Cervical Cancer, launched today, outlines three key steps: vaccination, screening and treatment. Successful implementation of all three could reduce more than 40% of new cases of the disease and 5 million related deaths by 2050.

Today’s development represents a historic milestone because it marks the first time that 194 countries commit to eliminating cancer - following adoption of a resolution at this year’s World Health Assembly...

“Eliminating any cancer would have once seemed an impossible dream, but we now have the cost-effective, evidence-based tools to make that dream a reality,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “But we can only eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem if we match the power of the tools we have with unrelenting determination to scale up their use globally.”...

The strategy is launched at a challenging time, however. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges to preventing deaths due to cancer, including the interruption of vaccination, screening and treatment services; border closures that reduced the availability of supplies and that prevent the transit of skilled biomedical engineers to maintain equipment; new barriers preventing women in rural areas from travelling to referral centres for treatment; and school closures that interrupt school vaccine programmes. To the extent possible, however, WHO urges all countries to ensure that vaccination, screening and treatment can continue safely, with all necessary precautions...

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Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org