Do You Know How to Prevent Cervical Cancer?

By Dr. Heather White, Technical Advisor- NCDs, PSI  Cervical cancer is the number one cancer killer of women in most developing countries. Each year, roughly 525,000 women develop cervical cancer and over 265,000 women die from the disease.[1][2] Almost 90% of the disease burden lies in developing countries where access to screening programs are not readily

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Pathways to Prevention: Choosing the Right Cervical Cancer Test

By Minal Bopaiah, Communications Manager, PSI Many women are familiar with the uncomfortable but necessary Pap smear – a common procedure that screens for cervical cancer. The Pap smear involves scraping cells from a woman’s cervix and then sending it to a lab for analysis. Because the procedure requires specialized medical training and complex diagnostic

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Social Marketing Needed to Increase HPV Vaccine Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common viral infection of the reproductuve tract, according to the WHO. There is good news: record low prices for the HPV vaccine “has opened the door for poor countries to vaccinate millions of girls against a devastating women’s cancer.” Social marketing could play a vital role in taking advantage of that opportunity, according to a new study from PLoS One.

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Defeating Cervical Cancer with Vinegar in Zambia

The HPV vaccine has proved to be an invaluable development against the development of cervical cancer in women. It is already saving lives.

However vinegar, the same thing you find in your household pantry, is also vital to making sure that lives are not lost to cervical cancer. With just a simple swab of vinegar, a medical professional can detect whether or not a woman has cervical cancer. The immediate feedback, ease of use and cheap cost means that more women will be diagnosed earlier.

Lauren Bohn recently wrote about its impact on women in Zambia for The Daily Beast.

For the N’gombe health clinic’s community health-care manager, Ignicious Bulango, the method is indeed transformative, but the country still has a long way to go. “Cervical cancer, and cancer in general, isn’t necessarily on the radar like malaria and HIV/AIDS for the majority of Zambians and most of Africa, but we’re getting there,” he said. “It’s a process.”

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Cowal and Seffrin: No Woman Should Die from Cervical Cancer

This special edition of Impact, the global health magazine of PSI, was produced in partnership with Women Deliver and the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. This issue, launched in conjunction with the Women Deliver 2013 Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, brings insightful dialogue on the value of investing in girls and women’s health. Our hope is that this issue will call attention to the urgent need for increased investment in girls and women in the developing world. 

cervicalcancer-biophotoGirls and women in the developing world are losing the fight against cervical cancer because we have failed to close deadly gaps in prevention, screening and treatment that could spare their lives and end this disease.

More than 85 percent of the estimated 275,000 women who die from cervical cancer globally every year live in low- and middle income countries.

As global leaders convene in Kuala Lumpur for the third Women Deliver conference, the American Cancer Societyand PSI are proud to join forces with other critical members of civil society to raise our collective voices and amplify the message that no woman should die from cervical cancer. We know what it takes to save lives from this disease – and we have a moral obligation to ensure that all girls and women, regardless of their location, benefit from this knowledge.

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No Woman Should Die from Cervical Cancer

Girls and women in the developing world are losing the fight against cervical cancer because we have failed to close deadly gaps in prevention, screening and treatment that could spare their lives and end this disease. More than 85 percent of the estimated 275,000 women who die from cervical cancer globally every year live in

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Screening and Preventing Cervical Cancer in Zambia

CSIS traveled to Zambia to document the ways that cervical cancer impacts women in the country. Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel spoke with provincial coordinator for the cervical cancer screening program Dr. Joan Katema. She told them that the attention has been on issues like HIV/AIDS, while women continue to die from cervical cancer. “But we’d still find that despite [women] accessing the ARVs and all the services that come with the ART clinic, they were still dying from cervical cancer,” she said.

Watch the video to learn more and here is a further explanation of what is being done in Zambia to address cervical cancer.

The Zambian government has also been very engaged in PRRR, led by the first lady, Dr. Christine Kaseba Sata, an obstetrician and gynecologist herself. The impact of this leadership is apparent, according to a nurse supervisor with the cervical cancer program: “We’ve been encouraged a lot by our women leaders in this country… including the First Lady. She’s been talking about cervical cancer screening and [its] importance a lot on TV, on radio, and so as a result, we’ve seen that a lot of women have reacted positively, received the message and have come in for screening.”

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Rwanda's Bold Steps to Take on Cancer

By Deputy Editor Tom Murphy. The following post is written in conjunction with PRI The World’s series on cancer. Go here to learn more.

A recent WHO assessment of Rwanda’s capacity to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) found that country failed on every measure. Except for having a branch in the Ministry of Health that addresses NCDs. In between the lines of the assessment, and captured within the Ministry of Health, is a major push by Rwanda to take on cancer.

The Rwandan Ministry of Health is implementing preventative structures to reduce the incidence of cancer. For women, that means improving access to breast cancer screenings and a national HPV plan. Cancer is responsible for 5% of deaths in Rwanda each year. As a point of comparison, cancer is accounts for 23% of all deaths in the United States.

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Video: Ian Frazer on the Development and Importance of the HPV Vaccine

Professor Ian Frazer, inventior of the HPV vaccine, speaks on the connection between cervical cancer and HPV. Cervical cancer is a global burden that reaches women in the developing world. Frazer argues that making the vaccine to more people will save many lives.  Also, he discusses his path to developing the HVP vaccine.

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GAVI to Vaccinate Against HPV and Rubella

Big news on the global health front today. GAVI announced today that it intends to introduce HPV and rubella vaccines in developing countries. Each year cervical cancer causes 275,000 deaths with 88% taking place in poor countries. It is projected that the number of deaths will rise to 430,000 women each year by 2050 if no action is taken. To reduce the impact, GAVI has set the ambitious goal of vaccinating 2 million women and girls against HPV and thus protecting them against cervical cancer by 2015.

By providing a vaccine against HPV, up to 70% of cervical cancer cases can be avoided. “This initiative has huge potential impact for women and families living in the developing world,” said Seth Berkley MD, CEO of the GAVI Alliance. “The HPV vaccine is critical to women and girls in poorer countries because they usually do not have access to screening to prevent cervical cancer and treatment if they develop it that their counterparts in richer nations take for granted. As a result, they are the most affected. Today, we have taken small but deliberate steps to correct this inequity.”

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