Immediate Action to Prevent Cervical Cancer Deaths is Key to Achieving Women’s Health Goals
WASHINGTON, June 8 /PRNewswire/ — Women’s health leaders today called on the international community to commit the resources needed to ensure that women and girls worldwide have equal access to cervical cancer prevention technologies. At the WOMEN DELIVER conference, the Declaration for Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention was issued by leading women’s health, cancer and business organizations, including PATH, the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the International Union Against Cancer.
“Today with the development of new tools and strategies, we have an unprecedented opportunity to prevent and treat cervical cancer through a comprehensive response in low-resource settings,” said Chris Elias, President and CEO of PATH. “There is strong scientific evidence of the safety of HPV vaccines, accuracy of HPV testing and effectiveness of same day screen-and treat approaches. We have the tools we need; now we need the funding and political will to deliver them to the women around the world.”
Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among women in developing countries. Despite being preventable and treatable, the disease continues to kill more than 270,000 women every year, the vast majority of whom live in low-resource settings where there is limited access to screening and treatment technologies. A comprehensive response to cervical cancer could employ available prevention and screening tools such as HPV testing, vaccines, pap testing and visual inspection with acetic acid.
“It is a global failure that women in developing countries continue to suffer due to poor access to new and available prevention tools,” said Dr. Lynette Denny, Principal Investigator with the Department of Gynecology and Oncology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. “The world will not be able to meet its goals to improve women’s health and development without addressing the growing cervical cancer burden. We hope this Declaration galvanizes all sectors to work together to deliver prevention and treatment technologies to women worldwide.”