KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, May 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Global Call to Action to universalise cervical cancer prevention backed up by historic commitments by national leaders and international agencies
Every year, 275,000 women die of cervical cancer. India alone accounts for 72,000 deaths - more than any other country - while the top ten highest mortality rates for cervical cancer are all in Africa.
With global attention focused on cervical cancer, key stakeholders from more than 70 countries came together as an urgent 'Call to Action' was released at the Global Forum on Cervical Cancer Prevention. It called for universal access to cervical cancer prevention, which would rewrite the future for millions of girls and women living in some of the poorest countries in the world.
"This is a wonderful beginning in protecting girls from the world's poorest countries against one of the leading cancer killers of women" said Seth Berkley, CEO, GAVI Alliance. "And the new low price we negotiated for the HPV vaccine allows us to immunise more girls and takes us a step closer towards sustainability."
Leaders commended South Africa, which is not eligible for GAVI funding, for taking the bold step of announcing that in February 2014, they too will roll out the vaccine to girls aged nine to ten. "We welcome the South African Government's new commitment to vaccinate girls against this deadly disease, which kills more than 3000 women every year and is a leading opportunistic infection for people with HIV," said Portia Serote of Treatment Action Campaign.
International agencies have a key role to play to ensure that the world moves toward the World Health Organisation commitment that by 2015, 50% of the 75 focus countdown countries will have introduced the HPV vaccine.
"Preventing cervical cancer is about women's rights to health, and equity in development," said Mrs. Graça Machel, Incoming Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. The launch of the 'Call to Action' paved the way for an exchange of best practice experiences for effective cervical cancer prevention across the globe. Genevieve Sambhi, a cervical cancer survivor and former Miss Malaysia Universe said. "Cervical cancer happened to me - it can happen to anyone - but it doesn't need to be this way. Together we can achieve a world free of cervical cancer."
Nilanjana Bose: +60-017-8307580
1. Cervical Cancer Crisis Card, 2013, http://www.cervicalcancerfreecoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/Cervical-Cancer-Global-Crisis-Card_2013.pdf
SOURCE Global Forum on Cervical Cancer Prevention