June 22 (SocialNews.XYZ) For the first time since the pandemic, leaders from civil society, politics, academia, and cervical cancer research assembled in Kigali to address the difficulties, top priorities, and strategies for eradicating the disease throughout the Commonwealth.
On Tuesday, the Commonwealth Women’s Forum co-hosted an event with the theme “Accelerating Cervical Cancer Elimination: Realities, Challenges, and Opportunities.” The goal of the event was to find ways to increase the role of women leaders as advocates for elimination.
cervical cancer is disproportionately prevalent in the Commonwealth
The Commonwealth accounts for 40% of global cervical cancer incidence and 43% of cervical cancer mortality, despite having only 30% of the world’s population. Delegates acknowledged that the Commonwealth carries a significant burden for cervical cancer, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
Ruth Kattumuri, Senior Director of the Economic, Youth, and Social Policy Directorate at the Commonwealth Secretariat, emphasized the urgency of governments and health professionals cooperating to eradicate it in her opening remarks.
“Cervical cancer is currently one of the most urgent risks to women’s health globally,” she said. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and early detection methods for precancerous lesions are the only known efficient means of eradicating it, one of the four diseases that plague women worldwide.
“Unfortunately, because access to screening methods and HPV vaccines is difficult in many low- and middle-income countries, progress has been slow. Furthermore, there is a lot of stigma and misinformation around cervical cancer. Therefore, collaboration is essential if it is to be completely eradicated. Additionally, in order to raise awareness and address access issues, it calls for courageous strategic policies and actions from governments, healthcare providers, and community organizations that include women and young people.
Delegates participated in the event by watching a clip from the documentary “Conquering Cancer,” which features case studies from the Commonwealth and strives to demonstrate to the world that it can be eradicated globally for all women and girls.
Princess Nono Simelela, Assistant Director-General for Family, Women, Children, and Adolescents at the World Health Organization (WHO), gave the keynote address at the event. She emphasized the need for collective action to meet the Commonwealth’s elimination targets by 2030 and address vaccine equity in nations with the highest cancer burdens.
Although cervical cancer is one of the most treatable and preventable types of cancer, there are still substantial barriers to its eradication. The lack of fair access to effective medical countermeasures in low- and middle-income nations, as well as accompanying stigma and false beliefs about the illness at the community level, are some of these challenges.
Key instruments for attaining elimination are the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and efficient screening methods for precancerous lesions. Only 13% of females aged 9 to 14 worldwide had received the HPV vaccine as of 2020, though.
The Covid-19 pandemic also put enormous strain on the world’s health systems, particularly those in developing nations with underdeveloped and underfunded health systems, which halted advancements made in the last 20 years toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for health.
This has in turn made it more difficult to prevent and cure fatal diseases like cervical cancer.
The number of new cases of cervical cancer is predicted to increase by 55% (to 324,598) and the number of fatalities by 62 % (to 1,86,066) by 2030 if suitable measures are not done to drastically lower the rising incidence of its within the Commonwealth. This would mean that every three minutes, a lady would pass away from cervical cancer.
Author: Muhammad Asim