UICC was proud to collaborate with group of UN agencies and leading international organisations to organise a milestone meeting on cervical cancer at World Health Assembly (WHA) . Following on from the adoption of the 2017 cancer resolution, UICC has been working with partners to help build momentum for it implementation, focusing particularly on the opportunities for eliminating deaths from cervical cancer.
The discussions included engaging contributions from a number of Ministries of Health who discussed their countries experiences and challenges in preventing and treating cervical cancer nationally, as well as high-level participation by UN leaders and global advocates for women’s health and cancer control, including Michelle Bachelet and UICC's own President Sanchia Aranda and President-elect Princess Dina Mired. Check out the agenda here.
This is the first time that a Director General of the WHO has put their own voice behind cancer control efforts in such a strong and concrete manner. Speaking during the plenary and side events at the WHA, Dr Tedros emphasise that the global health community has all the ingredients for success and that there is a movement growing behind this goal which measures success possible.
Priority topic at DGs plenary speech and throughout the World Health Assembly
Dr Tedros reiterated that he is proud to launch a call to action on the elimination of cervical cancer during the first DG plenary speech of the week stating - “we have all the ingredients for success”. The WHO DG explained the inclusion of global elimination of cervical cancer as one of a series of new initiatives in his 5-year global program of work “health security and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) are two sides of the same coin. That’s why WHO has to act with a sense of urgency in everything it does as every day is a question of life and death”.
In addition, Member States were invited to watch the key moments of the launch event, review WHO materials and ask questions at a pop-up information booth throughout Friday.
In the short podcast below leaders representing different stakeholders in the cancer community discuss first thoughts, welcoming the stamp of approval from WHO leadership for a set of proven tools for implementation and scale up of desperately needed services.
Please watch and listen to our podcast – reactions to the call to action to address the social inequality of access to cervical cancer prevention here below:
Dr Neerja Bhatla, Dr Sharon Kapambwe, Dr Ophira Ginsburg and Julie Torode
In a FGIO hosted side event Dr Anne Kihara, President-Elect of the African Federation of O & G, emphasised the devastating impact of HIV and HPV co-infection, especially in Africa with younger and younger women presenting with cervical cancer.
FIGO also took the opportunity to extend a distinguished achievement award to WHO DG Dr Tedros, recognizing the momentum that his leadership brings to the goal to eliminate cervical cancer globally.
Dr Tedros says “I can see the vibe since making the call to action on eliminating cervical cancer, people are ready to do! Many countries are paving the way. We are creating a movement, I think it’s possible!”
Accompanying the announcement Unitaid launched call for proposals to help eliminate cervical cancer
Unitaid is seeking to fund smart, innovative projects that will help eliminate cervical cancer, a leading cause of death in low- and middle-income countries, particularly among women with HIV. Read the full press release here.
UICC will be working with UICC members, other global partners, and UN agencies to maintain the momentum of these exciting new announcements.
UICC will be working with UICC members and UN agencies to maintain the momentum of these exciting new announcements. We want your perspectives to shape the planning steps over the next few months.