On 17 November 2023, Geneva - World leaders, cervical cancer survivors, advocates, partners, and civil society arecoming together today to mark the third Cervical cancer elimination day of action. The initiative, marks the first time Member States adopted a resolution to eliminate a noncommunicable disease!!
To eliminate cervical cancer, all countries must reach and maintain an incidence rate of below 4 per 100 000 women. Achieving that goal rests on three key pillars and their corresponding targets. The three key pillars are: i) 90% of girls fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by theage of 15; ii) 70% of women screened using a high performance test by the age of 35, and again by the age of 45; and iii) 90% of women with pre-cancer treated and 90% of women with invasive cancer managed.
Each country should meet the 90–70–90 targets by 2030 to get on the path to eliminate cervical cancer within the next century.
Impressively, Governments and communities are leading the way by declaring commitment and developing strategies to eliminate cervical cancer and countries around the world are rallying behind WHO’s call to action on November 17. Examples include:
- Australia is on target to be among the first countries in the world to eliminate cervical cancer, which the country anticipates to achieve in the next 10 years;
- In Benin, the First Lady, Her Excellency, Claudine Talon will host an HPV screening campaign;
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo will join the day of action for the first time with a march across Kinshasa calling for cervical cancer elimination, organized by the Ministry of Health and women’s associations;
- In Norway, researchers have recently reported finding no cases of cervical cancer caused by the human papillomavirus(HPV) in 25-year olds, the first cohort of women who were offered the vaccineas children through the national vaccination programme;
- Indonesia announced this week a declaration committing to reach the 90-70-90 targets for cervical cancerelimination through the national cervical cancer elimination plan (2023 to 2030);
- Japan is lighting up the country in teal to mark the day, and honour two years of the re-introduction of the HPV vaccine in the country;
- In Singapore, the Alliance for Active Action Against HPV (A4HPV) will host a spin cycling event to help raise awareness;
- In the United Kingdom, England’s National Health Service (NHS) pledged this week to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040.
- In Nigeria, for example, HPV vaccine wasintroduced into routine immunization programme with single-dose schedule in October 2023. The country aims to vaccinate 7.7 million girls – the largest number in a single round of HPV vaccination in the region.
- Weak progress on screening and treatment that need to be attended to especially in LLMICs
Countries have invested to improve access to screening all over the world. This year, together with Unitaid and its implementing partners, Ministries of Health in 14 low- and middle-income countries reached a milestone of screening over a million women.
In most countries, those diagnosed with cervical cancer still need better access to surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and palliative care. Still, only 65% of countries include cervical cancer screening services and 69% include radiotherapy for treatment of cervical cancer in the health benefit packages as part of universal health coverage schemes.
Prof Joseph Ana
Lead Senior Fellow/ medicalconsultant.
Center for Clinical Governance Research &
Patient Safety (ACCGR&PS) @ HRI GLOBAL
P: +234 (0) 8063600642
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