Cancer of the cervix of the uterus is preventable and curable. Yet it is the fourth most common form of cancer among women. In 2018, around 570.000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide, and 311.000 died of the disease.
Few diseases reflect global inequities as much as cervical cancer
Nearly 90% of the deaths in 2018 occurred in low- and middle-income countries. This is where the burden of cervical cancer is greatest. To be cured, cervical cancer must be detected early and managed effectively, but access to public health services is still limited in many countries and screening and treatment for the disease have not been widely implemented.
To face this global health challenge, on November 17, 2020 the World Health Organization launched a global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer, following a resolution passed by 194 countries. It was a historic moment: for the first time ever, the world had committed to eliminate a cancer.
This milestone was celebrated with a worldwide day of action. Over 100 landmarks were illuminated in the color teal to usher in a historic movement. The celebrations culminated in successful testing and advocacy campaigns around the world, the inauguration of new treatment facilities, and political commitments.
WHO‘s Global Strategy to Accelerate the Elimination of Cervical Cancer is based on three fundamental pillars:
- Vaccination: 90% of girls fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by the age of 15.
- Screening: 70% of women screened using a high-performance test by the age of 35, and again by the age of 45.
- Treatment: 90% of women with pre-cancer treated and 90% of women with invasive cancer managed.