- Reduce deaths from cervical cancer by an estimated 25% among women screened and treated through the initiative.
- Significantly increase access to breast and cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment —especially for high-risk HIV-positive women.
- Create innovative models that can be scaled up and used globally.
Cervical cancer is the most common women’s cancer in sub-Saharan Africa and is the third-most common cancer in women, with 530,000 new cases and 275,000 deaths each year. An estimated 80-90% of women in sub-Saharan Africa never have pelvic exams. More than 85% of the global burden of cervical cancer occurs in developing countries, yet the World Health Organization estimates fewer than 5% of these women have access to screening even once in a lifetime. Cervical cancer is four to five times more common among women who are HIV-positive.
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon 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.
The cervical cancer partnership will leverage the platform and resources of PEPFAR and will draw from lessons learned in the significant scaling-up of access to HIV interventions in recent years. Since breast cancer has not been linked to HIV, PEPFAR funds will not be used for direct support of breast cancer activities. However, other Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners will leverage the PEPFAR platforms, using other sources of funding, to support breast cancer efforts.
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation 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 September 2011, Merck announced that it is contributing 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, Merck will work with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure to support the launch and first phase of the program, which will raise awareness 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, Merck has committed to provide in-kind donations to the national cervical cancer vaccination program in Tanzania.
In September 2011 GSK agreed to donate USD1 million worth of the cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix to the US-based Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership so that more than 10,000 girls and women in the partnerships target countries in Africa will have access to vaccination over the next five years. GSK also pledged USD 50,000 to support Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s program operations, helping the partnership expand the availability of vital prevention, screening and treatment programs for cervical and breast cancer in developing countries. The partnership is also focusing on integrating low-cost screening and treatment services and aims to reduce deaths from cervical cancer in participating areas of Africa by 25% over the next five years.
Through PEPFAR, there is already screening and treatment of women at more than 250 clinics in 11 African countries. Through Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, PEPFAR has committed an additional USD 10 million, which will bring the total PEPFAR investment to USD 30 million over the next five years and ensure more women will be able to be screened and saved. (Bush Center press release - Sept. 2011).