Implementing the new Global Strategy for elimination of cervical cancer
Wednesday, November 18th 14:00 - 15:00 (Swiss time)
In August 2020, the World Health Assembly has adopted the global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem.
Cervical cancer is a preventable and curable disease, as long as it is detected early and managed effectively. Yet it is the fourth most common form of cancer among women worldwide, and the most common cancer among women living with HIV, who are six times as likely to develop cervical cancer. In 2018, the disease claimed the lives of more than 300 000 women.
To eliminate cervical cancer, all countries must reach and maintain an incidence rate of below four per 100 000 women. Attaining this goal requires strategic action, and WHO outlines the necessary actions in its global strategy, envisioning a world where cervical cancer is eliminated as a public health problem and keeping the 2030 agenda on SDGs.
WHO’s strategy of elimination rests on three main pillars:
- prevention through vaccination
- screening and treatment of precancerous lesions
- treatment and palliative care for invasive cervical cancer
Based on the three key pillars of the global strategy, WHO recommends a set of targets or milestones that each country should meet by 2030 to get on the path to eliminate cervical cancer within the century:
- 90% of girls fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by the age of 15;
- 70% of women screened using a high-performance test by the age of 35, and again by the age of 45; and
- 90% of women identified with cervical disease receive treatment (90% of women with pre-cancer treated and 90% of women with invasive cancer managed).
Cervical cancer stands as one of the world’s greatest public health failures, but through strong action and aligned intervention, elimination is within reach for all countries. The technology and tools exist to prevent this disease, along with proven measures for early diagnosis and treatment.
Now is the time to act and implement this strategy.