A new report released by Women Deliver highlights exciting new partnerships and innovations in cervical cancer prevention and treatment. This report comes at an important time: the GAVI Alliance recently announced its commitment to providing HPV vaccinations for 2 million girls in nine countries by 2015. This is a pivotal milestone in the efforts both to bring global attention to the issue of cervical cancer and to galvanize resources to scale up prevention efforts.
In 2010 The Lancet published “Expansion of cancer care and control in countries of low and middle income: a call to action¨ signed by the members of the GTF.CCC. The paper argued that much could be done to prevent and treat cancer by deploying primary and secondary caregivers, using global financing mechanisms effectively, making off-patent drugs available and all drugs and inputs more affordable, and by using global and regional procurement mechanisms. Further, the paper argued, increasing access to CCC can strengthen health systems so they also can meet the challenges of other diseases.
he report features information about the noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) situation in 193 countries. This includes details of what proportion of each country's deaths are due to diseases such as cancer, heart and lung diseases, and diabetes.
Using graphs, on a page-per country presentation format, the report provides information on prevalence, trends in metabolic risk factors (cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index and blood sugar) alongside data on the country's capacity to address the challenges posed by NCDs. Countries will be able to benchmark progress to date and determine where more efforts are needed.
Since 1997, over 33 000 women have died of cervical cancer in South Africa. This translates into roughly 3 000 per year. In addition, approximately 7000 women develop the disease every year. In 2000, a national cervical cancer screening policy was developed and put into place. The system uses a screening method to prevent the precancerous lesions from developing into cervical cancer through early detection and treatment. Screening takes place through pap smears with three free pap smears being offered to women in the public service at the ages of 30, 40 and 50.