Washington, D.C., 2 August 2019 (PAHO/WHO) – Representatives from Ministries of Health from 27 countries in the Americas, together with relevant UN agencies and civil society organizations gathered in Washington, DC on 1-2 August 2019 to discuss effective interventions for cervical cancer prevention and control. This was in support of the proposed global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer and to set a path towards future elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem in the Region of the Americas.
Cervical cancer is preventable through HPV vaccination, screening and precancer treatment, and it can be controlled with diagnosis, timely treatment and palliative care. Yet rates remain high as there are still many challenges around awareness, participation in vaccination and screening, as well as access, coverage and quality of health services.
The meeting highlighted the fact that this region is poised to have a greater impact on incidence and mortality rates, as a result of the priority, technical expertise, and commitments afforded this public health issue. Participants reviewed the PAHO Plan of Action for Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control 2018-2030 and discussed possible activities to accelerate its implementation at country level. Participants also reviewed and provide input on the draft WHO Global Strategy Towards the Elimination of Cervical Cancer, which will be presented to the 2020 World Health Assembly.