Smith - Worldwide cervical cancer prevention initiative announced at Women Deliver Conference in Malaysia

Cervical cancer kills an estimated 275,000 women each year, and most of these deaths could be prevented with prophylactic HPV vaccination, routine cervical cancer screening and continuity to treatment. At the Women Deliver Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, delegates and experts from around the world announced a global call to action to combat this preventable disease through collaboration with and information sharing by the world’s governments and health agencies on May 27, 2013.

“Cervical cancer prevention needs to become a global priority. We have the tools to prevent nearly all of the cervical cancer deaths that occur each year,” said Jennifer S.  Smith, PhD, MPH, Executive Director of the Cervical Cancer-Free Coalition and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The Cervical Cancer-Free Coalition (CCFC) campaign is announcing its new global website (www.cervicalcancerfreecoalition.org) that will allow national health experts to obtain and to share information about their national efforts to prevent cervical cancer. National coalitions can maintain their own webpages on the site, allowing them to share stories of their own implementation efforts and gather knowledge from the efforts of nations with similar programs and challenges. The CCFC website also provides data on the cervical cancer burden in each country, including World Health Organization/Institut Català d'Oncologia fact sheets.

“This provides an opportunity for countries to voice their experiences in cervical cancer prevention programs. By sharing experiences and resources across countries, we can learn from each other to identify best practices to improve implementation efforts globally,” said Dr. Smith.

Other tools developed by the CCFC campaign with Global Health Strategies include the Cervical Cancer Crisis Card (www.cervicalcancerfreecoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/Cervical-Cancer-Global-Crisis-Card_2013.pdf), which breaks down the deaths from cervical cancer by nation, highlighting the need for efforts targeting cervical cancer prevention.

The focus of the Cervical Cancer-Free Coalition is on partnerships of national coalitions to prevent cervical cancer. It builds on experiences of local coalition- focused efforts in the United States based on the Carolina Framework, a paradigm to reduce cervical cancer that has enlisted local communities to      i) prevent infection from the cervical cancer associated HPV virus via vaccination, ii) create more opportunities for under-screened women to be screened for the disease, iii) improve the quality of screening to reduce errors and iv) promote follow-up care for women who are found to have the disease.

“We have the tools to prevent.  Now is the time to move to action and to envision a world free from cervical cancer. We can and should do more to prevent unnecessary death, and thank you for your part in working to end this preventable cancer” said Dr. Smith. 

Date: May 28, 2013

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