*CERVICAL CANCE*: WHO Urges Action Against Cervical Cancer with HPV vaccinations in Afric
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has enjoined all countries in the region to actively engage in awareness campaigns and promote screening and HPV vaccination to protect women and girls against cervical cancer.
WHO which stated this Message, gave a concerning report that: In 2020, in the WHO African Region, 100,000 women developed cervical cancer and approximately 70,000 of these women died – this is 21% of the cervical cancer mortality globally. Cervical cancer disproportionately affects some of our most vulnerable communities.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, made the call on Wednesday in her statement to mark this year’s cervical cancer awareness month.
Moeti who disclosed that Cervical cancer disproportionately affects the most vulnerable communities in the region, added that women living with HIV were more susceptible to HPV infection and stand an increased risk of cervical cancer.
“While this is a particular challenge in the African Region, with our high levels of HIV infection, this is also an opportunity. We can use our HIV screening and treatment services as another opportunity to raise awareness of cervical cancer, and offer screening and vaccination to women attending HIV services.”
Moeti added, “Regarding screening, WHO is supporting countries in the region to move towards screening for the presence of HPV as a pointer towards the possible presence of cervical cancer. Sixteen countries are using this technique, and a major breakthrough in screening is the use of self-sampling kits that test for HPV.
In the message the WHO challenged African leaders to upscale awareness on cancer.
The WHO Regional Office for Africa remains committed to collaborating with countries and partners to expedite action, ensuring no woman in Africa faces this devastating disease without support.
Together, let’s prioritize cervical cancer on our agenda and work towards a future free from this preventable and curable affliction.