This July will see a landmark adoption of the WHO Global Strategy towards the elimination of cervical cancer, a committment to women's health and cancer prevention set to inspire cancer advocates as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to save millions of women’s lives.
A key driver for its success is the roll-out of national-level screening and treatment services, using high performance human papillomavirus (HPV) testing. This new technology, and associated innovations such as self-sampling, thermal ablation for treatment of early precancers and e-health solutions, have the potential to revolutionise screening services by facilitating their integration with HIV-AIDS and sexual and reproductive service delivery platforms, offering women more health choices in the community with women at the heart of these services.
In this Special Focus Dialogue, cancer, HIV and SRHR advocates came together to:
Dr Princess Nothemba (Nono) Simelela, Special Adviser to the Director-General, Strategic Programmatic Priorities, WHO, from South Africa, was most recently WHO's Assistant Director-General for Family, Women, Children and Adolescents.
Ian Askew, Director, Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, WHO, joined the Department in January 2016 from the Population Council where he worked as Director of Reproductive Health Services and Research in Nairobi, Kenya.
Meg Doherty, Coordinator of Treatment and Care, Department of HIV/AIDS, WHO, provides overall technical and managerial support to treatment and care for adults, adolescents, children and pregnant women.
Benda Kithaka, health advocacy and communications specialist, Kenya, is the Co-Founder and Chair of Women4Cancer Early Detection & Treatment, a Kenyan NGO focused on cervical cancer prevention and control across the continuum of care.
Nathalie Broutet, Acting Unit Head, Sexual Health and Reproductive Cancers, WHO, has a special interest in sexually transmitted infections and led the development of the new WHO Global Health Sector Strategy for STI control.
Ani Shakarishvili, Special Adviser, Acting Team Lead, Access to Treatment and Care, UNAIDS, has a special interest and expertise in addressing interlinks between HIV and HPV/cervical cancer, sexual and reproductive health, and NCDs.
Gertrude Nakigudde, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Uganda Women's Cancer Support Organisation (UWOCASO), is a cancer patient, survivor and caregiver. UWOCASO gives care, financial and emotional support to women cancer patients in Uganda.
Mara Kumbweza Banda, living with HIV for the past 19 years, is a highly motivated individual and a TB survivor. In 2003, Mara founded Paradiso TB Patients Trust for affected people and women led organizations to respond to TB and HIV in her community in Malawi.
Julie Torode, Director of Special Projects, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), is currently dedicating time to supporting the World Health Organisation’s global effort to eliminate cervical cancer.
Morkor Newman Owiredu, Intercountry Support Team, Family and Reproductive Health Cluster, WHO, Harare, Zimbabwe | Watch here
Manjulaa Narasimhan, Scientist, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland | Watch here
Ajay Rangaraj, Department of HIV, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland | Watch here