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Survivors mark WHO’s first year of ‘Cervical Cancer elimination movement’ in Nigeria

More Nigerian women at risk of cervical cancer over cost of HPV vaccine

Audrey Akpevwe Odogu, convener, Save the Cervix Initiative and partner, Nwabuoku Emmanuel of Oxford Healthplus Hospitals joined the world to illuminate the medical facility for a special cervical cancer awareness event to mark the one-year anniversary of the Global Strategy to Accelerate the Elimination of Cervical Cancer as a Public Health Problem in Lagos, Nigeria.

On November 17, 2021, World Health Organisation (WHO) marked the one-year anniversary of the first-ever global campaign to eliminate cancer.

This event is part of a historic movement. On the same day last year, 194 countries resolved to eliminate cervical cancer and the World Health Organisation launched a Global Strategy to make it happen.

As part of the celebration, various cities featured a tradition of lighting the world in the colour Teal for cervical cancer elimination. The lighting was held at HealthPlus Hospitals followed by an Instagram live via @Savethecervix_, featuring health talk and an interactive session. To create awareness to educate the public about cervical cancer prevention, treatment and advocacy.

Cervical cancer is adjudged preventable and curable, as long as it is detected early and managed effectively. Yet it is the fourth most common form of cancer among women worldwide, with the disease claiming the lives of more than 300 000 women in 2018.

Read Also: FG to screen, treat 430,000 women for cervical cancer across 3 states

In May 2018, the WHO Director-General announced a global call for action to eliminate cervical cancer, underscoring renewed political will to make elimination a reality and calling for all stakeholders to unite behind this common goal.

By August 2020 the World Health Assembly adopted the Global Strategy for cervical cancer elimination.

To eliminate cervical cancer, all countries must reach and maintain an incidence rate of below four per 100, 000 women. Achieving that goal rests on three key pillars and their corresponding targets:

Vaccination: 90percent of girls fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by the age of 15; screening: 70percent of women screened using a high-performance test by the age of 35, and again by the age of 45; treatment: 90percent of women with pre-cancer treated and 90percent of women with invasive cancer managed.

Save the Cervix Initiative and Oxford HealthPlus Hospital is dedicated to advocating within communities about the benefit of screening, treatment and vaccination for cervical cancer in Nigeria and Africa.