In this post, Michelle Garsha details efforts by Hologic, a UICC partner to improving women’s health and well-being through the early detection and treatment of cervical cancer, empowering people to live healthier lives everywhere.
Cervical cancer, a highly preventable disease, remains a serious threat to women’s health. This burden is especially true in many underserved, under-resourced regions, such as sub-Saharan Africa, where more women die of cervical cancer than any other cancer. This is unacceptable, given the availability of preventive vaccines, early detection screening and diagnostic tools, and treatment options.
At Hologic, we know from more than two decades of experience that the elimination of cervical cancer requires coordinated efforts and interconnected holistic prevention plans. Partnerships with key stakeholders across the continuum of cervical cancer prevention and treatment, such as ministries of health, advocacy organisations, global and local nongovernmental organisations, implementing partners, health care and laboratory providers, programme implementers and the private sector, is critical to ensure success in eliminating cervical cancer. We owe it to these women.
We continue to invest in and provide essential testing for cervical health, as well as expand access to this lifesaving screening for women worldwide through programmes like the Global Access Initiative (GAI), our solution to promote simple, scalable and sustainable access to cost-effective and quality diagnostic testing, such as HPV testing. In partnership with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and MedAccess, we launched this revolutionary programme in 2018. It creates an accessible pathway for healthcare in resource-limited settings where financial and operational challenges can create barriers to care and was designed to help countries overcome these barriers so their citizens can access crucial testing.
We at Hologic are especially committed to addressing institutional barriers related to cervical cancer elimination worldwide. Our purpose is to enable healthier lives everywhere; our passion is to promote women’s health around the world; and our promise is to give women the highest degree of certainty in their health.
None of it would matter if we weren’t working to build capacity of frontline health workers to deliver quality care for cervical cancer, partnering with others to offer solutions to the challenges that prevent women from being screened, as well as seeking new partners who share our determination to find innovative solutions. When our expertise combines with that of others, change happens.
The change women deserve spans a long list of connected issues, all of which must be addressed, so we’ve developed a partnership strategy that, along with others, allows us to:
While our ultimate goal is a cervical-cancer-free future for women everywhere, we know it is a journey. Like any journey, reaching milestones along the way not only reflects progress but adds momentum, especially when there’s no time to spare. We directly support one critical pillar in the World Health Organization’s 2018 global call for action to eradicate cervical cancer by 2030, and recognise the need to work with other partners across the patient journey to address each milestone:
The urgency to join forces to win this battle has never been more real, with cervical cancer cases continuing to rise. While I believe we can meet these goals, I also know that when we do, the fight won’t end there. We’ll need to sustain the partnerships that lead to these accomplishments so future generations of women will continue to receive affordable, accessible cervical cancer screening so that they may live long, healthy lives.