On May 27, 2013, at the Global Forum on Cervical Cancer Prevention in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a group of international organizations launched the Call for Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention. The call aims to build momentum for the uptake of HPV vaccines and screening and treatment tools. We ask you to make cervical cancer a priority and take action now.
Cervical cancer kills 275,000 women every year. If we don’t act now, this number will nearly double by 2030, with 98% of deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. In many of these countries, cervical cancer is already the number one cancer killer of women, and yet it is almost entirely preventable.
We have the tools we need to take action now:
- HPV vaccines prevent cervical cancer: Two safe and effective vaccines protect women from the two most common types of HPV strains that cause 70% of cervical cancer. For every 1,000 girls vaccinated, 12.6 cervical cancer deaths will be prevented.
- Proven screening and treatment tools exist: Highly effective, low-cost screening and precancerous treatment tools are available for all settings.
- Comprehensive cervical cancer prevention is feasible, cost effective and saves lives: A number of countries have implemented cervical cancer prevention programs and have successfully integrated them into other health services. International and national guidelines provide standards for how to reach all girls and women at risk.
This is morally unacceptable. The world has the resources, the tools and the opportunity to act now.
- All girls must have access to HPV vaccines;
- All women must have access to effective and affordable screening and treatment;
- Governments, development partners and the private sector must dedicate new resources to stop this disease and continue to explore ways to make all prevention tools more affordable;
- Civil society groups and the medical community must advocate for increased access to HPV vaccines and precancer screening and treatment;
- All stakeholders, including the media, must disseminate accurate information about cervical cancer, HPV vaccines and prevention tools.
To make this vision a reality, all stakeholders must do their part to ensure that no woman dies of cervical cancer. Everyone must act—from policymakers to advocates, from researchers to donors, from CEOs to community health workers. There has never been a more pivotal time.
We call on you to join us in this call to action. We must make cervical cancer—and the girls, women and families it affects—a priority now.
You can sign the call as an individual, organization or both!