About cervical cancer in Bangladesh
According to the GLOBOCAN 2020 database, the crude incidence and mortality rate estimates for cervical cancer in Bangladesh are 10.2 and 6.1 per 100 000, respectively, while the age-standardized rates (using the World Standard population) are estimated at 10.6 and 6.7 per 100 000. The HPV Information Centre provides a crude incidence rate estimate of 9.8 for 2018. A 2014 study by Nahar et al. reported a prevalence of 7.7% of any HPV infection. In rural areas the hr-HPV prevalence ranges between 2.5% and 4-7%.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare governs the health sector in Bangladesh. NGOs also play an important role in the country’s healthcare system and are actively involved in various healthcare activities, including health promotion and preventative activities, curative services, as well as research and training.
General health policy
The National Health Policy document of Bangladesh, first enacted in 2000, was updated in 2011. Moreover, there is a Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Development Program, the latest iteration of which appears to have been implemented between 2011-2016.
Currently, the fourth sector program (2016-2021) is running. This is a continuation of previous sector programs from 1998-2003 and 2003-2010.
The National Cancer Control Strategy for 2009-2015 appears to have been the latest relevant document. It includes a number of
general goals and principles, as well as more specific objectives. Cervical cancer is targeted
as part of the goals related to early diagnosis components of the strategy and has a dedicated section on cervical cancer screening.
Cervical cancer policy/strategy
There is a national strategy for cervical cancer prevention and control for 2017-2022,
which declares a total of 9 specific objectives, including targeting HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening. It outlines specific strategic directions for the implementation of
the vaccination and cervical cancer screening programs.
Cervical cancer screening policy/strategy
According to a 2018 review of the policy, VIA screening is conducted at more than 400 centres at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of care. It is reported that 1.6 million VIA tests have been administered between 2005 and 2017, of which 4.6% were found to be positive. 32% of women testing positive attended the colposcopy appointments and 51% of those attending
was diagnosed with precancerous or cancerous lesions. While the current program is opportunistic, a population-based program targeting women aged 30-60 with a 5-year
interval is planned for implementation as part of the aforementioned cervical cancer
HPV immunization policy/strategy
There is currently no national HPV vaccination program in Bangladesh. A pilot school-based
program in Gazipur, supported by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, was
conducted in 2016. Although this pilot program was considered a success and there were plans to launch a nationwide program thereafter, it has not yet been implemented.
Services provided by the consortium members
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh: Based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, icddr,b is a leading global health research institute and has been committed to solving public health problems faced by low- and middle-income countries through innovative scientific research for nearly 60 years, including laboratory-based, clinical, epidemiological and health systems research.
Friendship: Active for the last 17 years to help address the needs of remote and marginalized communities in Bangladesh. The organisation delivers services in six sectors interacting with each other, which include Health, Education, Climate Change Adaptation 12 and Disaster Management, Inclusive Citizenship, Sustainable Economic Development, and Cultural Preservation.
Impact areas where we are working
|Epidemiology Summary||Country data|
|Female population aged 20-29 (million)||Not available|
|Female population aged 30-59 (million)||Not available|
|HPV prevalence (%)||7.7%|
|Cervical cancer incidence rate (crude, per 100 000)||10.2|
|Cervical cancer incidence rate (age-standardized, per 100 000)||10.6|
|Cervical cancer mortality (crude, per 100 000)||6.1|
|Cervical cancer mortality (age- standardized, per 100 000)||6.7|
|Available/recommended method of screening||VIA|
|Type of screening||Opportunistic|
|Is there a national strategy/program dedicated to cancer?||Yes – National Cancer Control Strategy for 2009-2015|
|Is there a national strategy/program dedicated to cervical cancer?||No – provisions included in other documents|
|Target age group in the project (years)||30 – 60|
Some of our activities in Bangladesh
Bangladesh partners have experience in capacity development, awareness raising and community meetings. They reach their target audiences by using traditional methods like involvement of schools, mosques, leaders, marketplaces by using leaflets, and doing theater performances.
News from Bangladesh
Friendship has been implementing the cervical cancer screening and treatment program in the northern region of Bangladesh at two floating…
A team led by Ms. Anika Rahman, Research Officer at the icddr,b travelled from Dhaka to conduct baseline microplanning, AWACAN…
Three medical students from the University Medical Center of Groningen, together with head office and field staff of the Friendship’s…
The University Medical Centre of Groningen (UMCG) students visited Bangladesh in May. The visit started in Dhaka and took students…
Friendship held a joint discussion on cancer prevention and public health at the Gaibandha Civil Surgeon’s conference room.
The EU released a scientific opinion providing recommendations on how to improve existing cancer screening programmes, including for cervical cancer.
HPV awareness day is a campaign focused on HPV prevention – the first step to end cervical cancer as a…
Cervical cancer prevention and early treatment has received a boost in the rural South of Bangladesh. This was after a…
During September 2021, 50 Friendship Community MedicAids (FCM’s) in the South of Bangladesh received intensive training which will go a…
The prevention and early detection of cervical cancer were stepped up in Northern Bangladesh recently with a field visit by…
On 17th November 2021 we are celebrating the Cervical Cancer Elimination movement. Know what PRESCRIP-TEC is doing.
Capacity-building in Bangladesh: Our partner FRIENDSHIP carried out training on cervical cancer screening to detect precancerous lesions.
Cervical cancer is a leading cause of death among women in resource-poor or hard-to-reach settings in the world, especially sub-Saharan…
Jaap Koot, coordinator of PRESCRIP-TEC, talked about cervical cancer at the International Student Congress of (bio)Medical Sciences (ISCOMS)
In order to reach the 2030 targets for cervical cancer elimination, the World Health Organization is launching two new products:…