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Jhpiego pledges support to countries working to eliminate cervical cancer

Commitment announced at first global cervical cancer elimination forum

On the eve of International Women’s Day, Jhpiego joined a historic wave of commitments to ending cervical cancer as a public health problem as part of the global Cervical Cancer Elimination Initiative meeting in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Find below our specific commitments that were shared at the March 5 meeting, which was hosted by the governments of Colombia and Spain, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi, Global Financing Facility, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), UNICEF, U.S. Agency for International Development, Unitaid, World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO):

“Jhpiego reaffirms our priority to support countries in progress toward the WHO 90-70-90 Global Elimination Strategy targets and we will continue to embrace transformative solutions, quality service delivery, innovative approaches on generating demand and increasing access — including in community settings — and fostering integration linkages between primary and secondary prevention.

In Pakistan, we will provide technical assistance to the Federal Directorate of Immunization in the introduction of HPV vaccine for girls between 9-14 years old, implementation of school-based adolescent health programs and rollout of the national cervical cancer registry system. In the Philippines, we will generate lessons learned and factors associated with successful primary and secondary prevention programs from health systems, facility and community perspectives and carry out targeted dissemination for countries in similar settings. Jhpiego is also committed to supporting at least five other countries for HPV vaccine coverage improvement and/or implementation of tailored interventions to increase HPV vaccine coverage.

Through the Unitaid-funded SUCCESS project led by Expertise France, Jhpiego will pilot community-based HPV self-sampling approaches in Burkina Faso, Guatemala and the Philippines following on country experiences generated by the current project.  We have also supported four SUCCESS countries with introducing and integrating HPV testing and thermal ablation for precancer treatment into country health systems and are committed to support implementation research and the development of government transition plans for long-term inclusion of HPV screening as a screening method.  Jhpiego will continue to provide technical assistance in secondary prevention across ten countries in areas of capacity enhancement, evidence generation on the introduction and scaling up of HPV molecular testing and thermal ablation for treatment of precancers and enhancing efficient referral pathways.”

Following the WHO announcement, Dr. Somesh Kumar, Jhpiego’s Senior Director, New Initiatives and Innovations, said, “We are committed to continuing the fight to eliminate cervical cancers by supporting all three pillars of the WHO’s 90-70-90 target. We are privileged to support HPV vaccination in 10 countries and secondary prevention through HPV test-based screening and appropriate treatment in 9 countries.”

Dr. Chris Morgan, Jhpiego’s Technical Director, Immunization, added, “HPV vaccine is one of the most lifesaving immunizations we have. Jhpiego has long been committed to integrated programs that link improved screening and treatment for cervical cancer as well as accelerating vaccine uptake. We are inspired by these new commitments to work together across the whole spectrum of cervical cancer responses; together we have the potential to save many more women’s lives.”

Sister Monique Bonogo, a Jhpiego-supported midwife in Centre Medical Saint Camille Koupela Town, Burkina Faso, talks with Yvette Dembele about results from her cervical cancer screening.