Articles and Opinion pieces by Dr. Jarbas Barbosa

Eliminating cervical cancer to save 30,000 lives every year in Latin America and the Caribbean

Strategies to expand HPV vaccination, combined with innovative screening and early treatment have made cervical cancer the first cancer in the world that can realistically be eliminated.

Caused by persistent infection with high-risk strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer takes the lives of 33,000 women in the Americas each year.

The path to elimination is ambitious but simple: Countries must vaccinate 90% of girls by the age of 15; screen 70% of women for HPV by 35 years, and again by 45; and treat 90% of women with pre-cancer and cancer.

The implementation of the single-dose HPV vaccine, particularly in schools, as well as the widespread use of self-sample HPV tests, are among key measures to tackle this disease and ensure the Americas is, once again, at the forefront of accelerating progress towards disease elimination.

Malaria Day in the Americas: Eliminating neglected diseases can help us drive out poverty from the farthest corners of our region  

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) gave new impetus to an initiative to eliminate 30 communicable diseases and related conditions from the region of the Americas. These diseases are mostly preventable, always treatable, and yet continue to plague millions.   

Malaria, for example, is an illness that hides in the most difficult to access corners of the Americas. The disease is emblematic to many ailments under the PAHO initiative: a ramification of poverty and social inequity, disproportionally impacting communities far away from health services.  

Countries in the region had already committed to the PAHO elimination initiative in 2019, but COVID-19 delayed our resolve. Now is time to get back on track.

paho director