One of the easiest cancers to prevent and treat
While cervical cancer is one of the easiest to prevent and treat, it is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide: according to WHO, there were 570,000 new cases and 311,000 deaths from it in 2018. Furthermore, nine out of ten women who die from cervical cancer live in low or middle-income countries. This is due to the fact that these women have limited access to information and prevention for cervical cancer. The new WHO strategy for 2020-2030 for cervical cancer elimination therefore emphasises the crucial role of the screening and treatment of this cancer.
Ensuring the feasibility of screening and early treatment as close as possible to populations
Cervical cancer is mainly caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), some of whose genotypes lead to the formation of precancerous lesions. It is preventable if these lesions are identified at an early stage. SUCCESS will consequently implement a prevention approach based on:
• Increased and simplified screening;
• Secondary cancer prevention with an HPV detection test and a thermal ablation of precancerous lesions;
• A greater dissemination of information about this cancer among the populations concerned.
Unitaid & @expertisefrance are signing the SUCCESS project today in Abidjan to fight #cervicalcancer in lower-resource countries w/ screening & treatment. The disease killed 311,000 women in 2018. Women living w/ #HIV are at highest risk https://t.co/By0CSA4Ppm— Unitaid (@UNITAID) December 21, 2019
The SUCCESS project targets women who are most at risk and will be implemented in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, the Philippines and Guatemala. These four low or middle-income countries are representative of regions with limited resources where over 85% of women who currently die from this disease are to be found. SUCCESS will thereby allow the targeted countries, and beyond, through regional outreach, to scale up service provision for 70% of the population of women concerned.
Special attention for women living with HIV
SUCCESS will reach at least 185,000 women over the next three years, 75,600 of whom (40%) are living with HIV. Indeed, immunocompromised women with HPV infection are more likely to develop pre-cancer and cancer more rapidly. Cervical cancer is particularly deadly among women living with HIV, especially for those who are not receiving antiretroviral treatment or who started their treatment at a late stage.
Experienced actors working to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030
The agreement signed in December between Unitaid and Expertise France provides for EUR 22m of Unitaid financing for three years, with EUR 600,000 of additional cofinancing from the French Government. For Unitaid, this investment is part of a more comprehensive strategy for cervical cancer prevention for a total amount of EUR 54m, which follows the call for action by the World Health Organization (WHO) to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030.
The programme will be implemented by Expertise France, in partnership with a consortium that already has experience and expertise in cervical cancer prevention and control: Jhpiego and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).
The programme will also be supported by technical assistance from national cancer institutes: the French National Cancer Institute (INCa), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) – USA, the National Cancer Center (NCC) – Japan and the National Cancer Institute (INCA) – Brazil.
The programme will also work with a team from New York University to manage an mHealth platform which aims to strengthen the capacity of human networks for health and improve patient follow-up.
EIU Report: Global action on financing cervical cancer elimination
Cervical cancer is the fourth-most common detected cancer in women worldwide and most likely affects women living in low- and middle-income countries. This report from The Economist Intelligence Unit explores some high-level challenges associated with financing the elimination of cervical cancer in lower resource settings.
Expertise France is a public agency and a key actor in international technical cooperation. It designs and implements projects that sustainably strengthen public policies in developing and emerging countries. Governance, security, climate, health, education... It operates in key areas of sustainable development and contributes alongside its partners to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Jhpiego is an international non-profit organisation specialised in health and affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. It designs and provides transformative healthcare solutions that save lives. Jhpiego has been working in 155 countries for 46 years to ensure the equity, quality and respect of health services and stresses that the place of residence of a woman must not determine whether she lives. In partnership with national governments, health experts and local communities, Jhpiego builds health providers’ skills and develops systems that save lives now and guarantee healthier futures for women and their families. www.jhpiego.org
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
The Union for International Cancer Control is the largest and oldest international cancer-fighting organisation. Founded in Geneva in 1933, UICC has over 1,150 member organisations in 173 countries. It enjoys consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and has official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). UICC has over 50 partners, including associations, companies and foundations committed to the fight against cancer. UICC is a founding member of the NCD Alliance, the McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer and the International Cancer Control Partnership (ICCP) and established the City Cancer Challenge Foundation in January 2019.
UICC’s mission is to unite and support the cancer community in its efforts to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity and ensure that cancer control remains a priority on the global health and development agenda. It pursues these goals by bringing together global leaders through innovative and far-reaching cancer-control events and initiatives, building capacities to meet regional needs and developing awareness campaigns. www.uicc.org
© Photo credit: Jhpiego