HPV Call to Action launched today in Nairobi

July 6, 2007 at 9:08 am (Alex's Posts)

Today at the International Women’s Summit in Nairobi, a coalition of 13 high-profile public health organizations launched a call to action for increased access to prevention and treatment of cervical cancer, particularly in the developing world.  To learn more, or sign on as a supporter of the call, you can go to www.cervicalcanceraction.org. Text of the call below.

 

The Global Call to Stop Cervical Cancer 

 

We believe the world has a historic opportunity to ensure that life-saving new technologies to prevent cervical cancer reach women and girls around the world without delay, because:

 

We are aware that cervical cancer, a disease caused by infection with some types of the human papillomavirus (HPV), affects half a million women globally every year.

We are concerned that, globally, more than a quarter of a million women die from cervical cancer every year.

We acknowledge that due to gross disparities between wealthy and poor countries in access to screening and treatment, more than 80% of the cases and deaths from cervical cancer occur in developing countries, making it the most common cancer-related cause of death for women in these countries.

We are encouraged by powerful new tools that have the potential to significantly reduce the burden of cervical cancer around the world, improve reproductive health, and save millions of women’s lives. These include new HPV vaccines that protect girls and young women against the high-risk types of HPV and new HPV screening technologies that are both more accurate and more appropriate for women in low-resource settings.

We recognize that only a comprehensive prevention strategy that pairs cervical cancer vaccination with screening and treatment programs will reverse the threat of cervical cancer to women and girls worldwide.

We know that extraordinary action will be required to give women and girls everywhere, particularly in developing countries, rapid access to these powerful, life-saving technologies.

Therefore, we call for the commitment and action necessary for women and girls around the world to have equal access to the highest quality prevention and treatment options for cervical cancer. Specifically, we call on:

  • Governments to prioritize cervical cancer in their national development and health programs and ensure that the necessary political and financial commitments are made and sustained.
  • Multilateral agencies to provide leadership and maximize their contribution to the necessary processes, including rapid prequalification, that will ensure widespread availability of HPV vaccines and other primary and secondary prevention technologies.
  • The international donor community and development partners to pledge the necessary financial resources so that these new technologies are made available to those who need them most.
  • Medical professionals to educate themselves and their patients about the life-saving innovations available.
  • Industry to provide adequate supplies of these new technologies at radically tiered prices.
  • Civil society to come together to build partnerships and catalyze global action.

 

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