We want to show the world that civil society organisations across the globe are ready, willing, and able to step up to the challenge to eliminate cervical cancer. We will be reaching out to civil society organisations beyond the cancer community to sign up also. The UN Partnership on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, UNAIDS, UNFPA and GAVI have already signalled that they will be reaching out their own constituencies with the same message.
Cervical cancer, caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and particularly devastating in those living with HIV co-infection, is a growing public health concern. Currently, every 2 minutes a life is lost to this disease. The fact that nearly 9 of 10 these deaths are women in low and middle income countries, describes the glaring global divide in access to life-saving information and services.
We already have proven and cost-effective solutions to prevent cervical cancer, to treat it and to care for those with late stage disease. We are urging Heads of State to demonstrate political leadership, make commitments and take action to put in place national programmes with equitable access and coverage to services:
Your decisive action and sustained commitment to national programmes will save lives, improve wellbeing and provide economic benefits for families and communities.