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

4 February, 2019

With thanks to Global Health Now. Full text here: https://www.globalhealthnow.org/2019-02/friends-dont-let-friends-get-cer...

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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.

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Best wishes, Neil

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

http://www.hifa.org/projects/citizens-parents-and-children

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

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