The WHO unveiled a new 3-part strategy today to rid the world of cervical cancer, saving the lives of ~5 million women and girls.
The resolution adopted by 194 countries at this year’s World Health Assembly seeks to reduce new cases by 40% by 2050. It marks the first time the world has committed to eliminate a cancer.
The roadmap sets out 3 targets to reach by 2030:
- 90% HPV vaccination coverage of girls by age 15
- 70% screening coverage for women by age 35 and again by 45
- 90% access to treatment for cervical pre-cancer and cancer, including access to palliative care
Why It Matters: Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer among women globally—and the only vaccine-preventable cancer. And yet:
- Cases could climb to 700,000, with 400,000 associated deaths, by 2030 with no action.
- Death rates are 3X higher for low- and middle-income countries than wealthier nations.
One Big Hurdle: There are 3 vaccines to combat HPV, but availability is skewed towards richer countries, UN News reports.