WHO / CERVICAL CANCER

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17-Nov-2021 00:03:53
The World Health Organization (WHO) commemorated a Day of Action for Cervical Cancer Elimination and welcomed groundbreaking new initiatives to end the devastating disease, which claims the lives of over 300,000 women each year. WHO

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STORY: WHO / CERVICAL CANCER
TRT: 3:53
SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 17 NOVEMBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, WHO emblem outside headquarters

17 NOVEMBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women globally, but it is almost completely preventable and, if diagnosed early enough, is one of the most successfully treatable cancers. This disease claims the lives of 300,000 women each year – 1 every 2 minutes. Like COVID-19, we have the tools to prevent, detect, and treat this disease. But like COVID-19, cervical cancer is driven by inequitable access to those tools. 79 countries that account for two-thirds of the global burden of cervical cancer are yet to introduce HPV vaccines, because of high prices and inadequate supply."
4. Wide shot, press room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"In low- and middle-income countries, the incidence of cervical cancer is nearly twice as high, and the death rate is three times as high, as in high-income countries. We see similar disparities among marginalized populations within many high-income countries. That’s why one year ago today, WHO launched a global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer, with three targets to achieve within the next 10 years: To vaccinate 90 percent of all girls against human papillomavirus by the age of 15; to expand access to screening services for 70 percent of women; and to expand access to treatment for 90 percent of women with pre-cancerous lesions, and palliative care for 90 percent of women with invasive cancer."
6. Wide shot, press room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Like it has with so many diseases, the pandemic has caused setbacks to progress towards these targets because of disruption to health services. The proportion of girls globally with access to HPV vaccines has fallen to 13 percent, from 15 percent before the pandemic. At the same time, there are encouraging signs of progress. In the past year, several more countries have introduced the HPV vaccine into national immunization schedules, including Cameroon, Cabo Verde, El Salvador, Mauritania, Qatar, Sao Tome and Principe, and Tuvalu. WHO has also prequalified a fourth HPV vaccine called Cecolin, produced by Innovax, which we expect will increase supply and decrease prices. We have also seen innovations like self-sampling, which offers women the option of being screened for cervical cancer without a pelvic exam."
8. Wide shot, press room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Today we are releasing WHO’s evidence generation framework for artificial intelligence-based screening. But we need to do much more. Today we are calling on all countries, all manufacturers of vaccines, tests and treatments, all partners and all civil society organizations to join us in our effort to make cervical cancer history."
10. Wide shot, WHO emblem on wall in press room

STORYLINE:

The World Health Organization (WHO) commemorated a Day of Action for Cervical Cancer Elimination and welcomed groundbreaking new initiatives to end the devastating disease, which claims the lives of over 300,000 women each year.

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva today (17 Nov), WHO chief Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women globally, “but it is almost completely preventable and, if diagnosed early enough, is one of the most successfully treatable cancers.” He said the disease claims the lives a woman every two minutes. He added, “Like COVID-19, we have the tools to prevent, detect, and treat this disease. But like COVID-19, cervical cancer is driven by inequitable access to those tools. 79 countries that account for two-thirds of the global burden of cervical cancer are yet to introduce HPV vaccines, because of high prices and inadequate supply."

Dr Tedros said, in low- and middle-income countries, the incidence of cervical cancer “is nearly twice as high, and the death rate is three times as high, as in high-income countries.” He said there are similar disparities among marginalized populations within many high-income countries.

A year ago today, WHO had launched a global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer, with three targets to achieve within the next 10 years: To vaccinate 90 percent of all girls against human papillomavirus by the age of 15; to expand access to screening services for 70 percent of women; and to expand access to treatment for 90 percent of women with pre-cancerous lesions, and palliative care for 90 percent of women with invasive cancer.

However, the WHO chief said the pandemic has caused setbacks to progress towards these targets because of disruption to health services. He said, “The proportion of girls globally with access to HPV vaccines has fallen to 13 percent, from 15 percent before the pandemic. At the same time, there are encouraging signs of progress. In the past year, several more countries have introduced the HPV vaccine into national immunization schedules, including Cameroon, Cabo Verde, El Salvador, Mauritania, Qatar, Sao Tome and Principe, and Tuvalu. WHO has also prequalified a fourth HPV vaccine called Cecolin, produced by Innovax, which we expect will increase supply and decrease prices. We have also seen innovations like self-sampling, which offers women the option of being screened for cervical cancer without a pelvic exam."

Dr Tedros also announced the release of WHO’s evidence generation framework for artificial intelligence-based screening. However, he said, “We need to do much more. Today we are calling on all countries, all manufacturers of vaccines, tests and treatments, all partners and all civil society organizations to join us in our effort to make cervical cancer history."
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