The World Health Organization (WHO) has highlighted that cervical cancer, a significant global health concern, can be effectively prevented and treated. On the occasion of the Cervical Cancer Elimination Day of Action 2023, marked annually on November 17, WHO’s regional office released a statement emphasizing that cervical cancer accounts for 300,000 deaths worldwide each year, predominantly in low- and middle-income countries. The disease ranks as the 6th most common cancer among women in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, with around 89,800 women diagnosed and over 47,500 deaths in 2020.
According to Jordan News Agency, The WHO statement underscored the potential for prevention and treatment of cervical cancer, especially when diagnosed early. Late-stage cancers can also be managed with appropriate treatment and palliative care. The organization stressed the importance of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as a highly effective and safe preventive measure. The vaccine is recommended for girls aged 9-14, with varying dosages based on age and immunocompromised status.
In 2020, WHO Member States committed to eliminating cervical cancer as a public health problem, a first for any cancer. The Regional Elimination Strategy for the Eastern Mediterranean includes strategies such as accelerating HPV vaccine introduction, improving cervical screening, enhancing treatment and palliative care services, and strengthening health systems. It also focuses on communication and advocacy to increase awareness and counter vaccine hesitancy. The 2023 Cervical Cancer Elimination Day of Action marks three years of global efforts involving survivors, leaders, and advocates to eradicate this disease.