- Reduce deaths from cervical cancer by 25% among women screened and treated in partner countries;
- Achieve at least 80% coverage of vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV);
- Screen at least 80% of the appropriate target populations for pre-invasive cervical cancer, and treat those found with lesions;
- Increase awareness of, and reduce stigma about, breast and cervical cancer among the health community and the general population, and promote the early detection of disease;
- Create and test innovative models and approaches to sustainability, financing, service delivery, and laboratory and data systems that can be scaled up and used globally.
What are the health needs and challenges?
Cervical cancer is the most common women’s cancer in sub-Saharan Africa and is the third-most common cancer in women, with 485,000 new cases and 236,000 deaths in 2013 alone. More than 85% of the global burden of cervical cancer occurs in developing countries, and 80-90% of women in sub-Saharan Africa have never had a pelvic exam. Cervical cancer is five times more common among women who are HIV-positive.
Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR) is an innovative partnership to leverage public and private investments in global health to combat cervical and breast cancer – two of the leading causes of cancer death in women - in developing nations in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon offers the HPV vaccination to pre-adolescent girls, which prevents most cases of cervical cancer. PRRR supports country-led vaccination campaigns with vaccine donations, programmes, and resources for community education and outreach.
PRRR supports its partners to screen women for breast cancer via clinical breast examinations, and provides screening for cervical cancer for women aged 30-49 years, particularly those living with HIV.
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s partners implement the simple, inexpensive cervical pre-cancer “See-and-Treat” screening approach. It involves visual inspection of the cervix with vinegar (acetic acid) to detect pre-cancerous lesions, followed soon or immediately afterward, when necessary, by ablative or electrosurgical (LEEP) treatment, as dictated by the woman’s needs. PRRR is also helping test new molecular testing technologies that will help focus resources on women at highest risk of developing cancer.
In 2016, 316 652 women have been screened for cervical cancer, 119 192 girls have received all doses of the HPV vaccination and 22 039 women have been treated with cryotherapy or LEEP for cervical cancer.
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has committed $1.2 million over three years, and will work with its Secure the Future Technical Assistance Program faculty in the region to expand the availability of vital cervical cancer screening and treatment and breast care education and detection, especially for women most at risk of getting these cancers in Secure the Future target countries because they are HIV-positive. In Tanzania, with the Foundation’s support, five community-based organizations will screen more than 50,000 women between ages 30 and 50 years and those living with HIV for cervical and breast cancer as well as refer 600 for treatment at regional hospitals.
In September 2011, MSD* announced that it would contribute USD 3 million over three years to the Pink Ribbon-Red Ribbon initiative to help address both cervical and breast cancer in sub-Saharan African nations by supporting disease education, screening and treatment efforts as well as increased access to cervical cancer vaccination. Through this three-year partnership, MSD will work with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to support the first phase of the program to raise awareness in Zambia and Tanzania about the burden of breast and cervical cancer, mobilize additional program partners and donors, advocate for increased access to screening, treatment and cervical cancer vaccination as well as to promote follow-up care among women in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, MSD has provided in-kind donations and technical support to the national cervical cancer vaccination programs in both Zambia and Botswana.
GSK gave US$ 2 million over three years to support HPV vaccination, assist the FMoH to draft and publish a National Cancer-Control Plan; and expand access to the screening for, and treatment of, cervical pre-cancer.
* MSD is known as Merck in the U.S. and Canada.