Global Health Now: Friends Don’t Let Friends Get Cervical Cancer

4 February, 2019

With thanks to Global Health Now. Full text here:


No one ever talked about cervical cancer in the village where Angela Mutunga grew up. No one knew that it is caused by a common virus, HPV, or that it is preventable - and easily treated when detected early. When they went to a clinic, no one asked when they last had a Pap test or any kind of screening.

After her friend’s mother died, Mutunga, who heads up global policy and advocacy for Jhpiego, set out to change that. She organized a women’s group in Kenya to raise awareness about the disease that killed 311,365 women globally last year - most in Africa and Asia.

In this exclusive commentary, she and Celina Schocken, executive director of TogetHer, map out the case for a global push. Investing in a comprehensive global HPV vaccine and screening program could avert 5.2 million cases and 3.7 million deaths. “It’s within our grasp to eliminate cervical cancer,” they say.

“Together, we can marshal a movement akin to the one that’s bringing down the rate of maternal mortality worldwide. Today, fewer women die in childbirth than of cervical cancer,” they write.


Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Information for Citizens, Parents and Children:

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: