January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month. In the last year with funding from Gilead Sciences, GAIA has integrated cervical cancer screening, treatment, and referral into the primary health care services provided by our Mobile Clinics. In partnership with other local implementers GAIA provided 7 screening opportunities for clients, screening 194 women, treating five women (2.6%) for precancerous cells, and referring one client for cancer care.
Malawi has the highest mortality related to cervical cancer, with 51.5 deaths per 100,000 population per year, seven times the global rate, and HIV infection puts women at a 5x higher risk for developing cervical cancer.
To achieve the WHO's Goal of Cervical Cancer Elimination, increased awareness about cervical cancer prevention and treatment is needed. The 90-70-90 targets are key to achieving the end of cervical cancer, namely:
1. Vaccinating 90% of girls against human papillomavirus (HPV) by 15 years of age;
2. Screening 70% of women at ages 35 and 45 for precancerous cervical lesions; and
3. Ensuring that 90% of those women in need receive treatment for cervical disease.
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