Public Health Advocates Call on Congress to End Cervical Cancer Deaths Worldwide

April 24, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 24, 2017 – Advocates from Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will join 11 other public health organizations on Capitol Hill Tuesday to urge lawmakers to help end cervical cancer deaths worldwide by integrating prevention and treatment into existing U.S. global health assistance programs.

Cervical cancer is a disease that is both preventable and treatable, but kills an estimated 266,000 women each year globally. It’s also the most common cancer among women in 38 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

“Where you live should not determine if you live. New cases of and deaths from cervical cancer can be eliminated in girls and women through increased access to vaccination and inexpensive treatment in priority high-prevalence, countries where U.S. global health programs are already addressing other health challenges,” said Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN. “If Congress takes immediate action, eliminating death from cervical cancer worldwide in our lifetime is an achievable goal.”

In Capitol Hill meetings Tuesday, advocates will urge lawmakers to integrate cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment services into existing global health initiatives in LMICs. They will also ask lawmakers to include a provision in the fiscal year 2018 State and Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee appropriations bills that directs the U.S. government’s attention on a focused effort to eliminate death from cervical cancer. 

“We have the tools to end cervical cancer deaths. Women with HIV are five times more likely to develop cervical cancer,” noted PRRR CEO Celina Schocken. “The U.S. government is already investing significant resources to keep these women alive, so it would be a shame to see them die of something so preventable. Let’s be smart about global health programs by integrating low-cost cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment activities into existing healthcare programs.”

Today, ACS CAN, PRRR and 22 other health organizations also sent letters to members of Congress who determine foreign aid spending and to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to encourage support for strengthening U.S. international health assistance programs to address the devastating impact cervical cancer continues to have on women and families, especially in LMICs.  

“U.S. global health assistance programs have delivered dramatic results, saved millions of lives and contributed to a healthier, more stable and prosperous world,” the letters stated. “Cervical cancer prevention and treatment are proven, cost-effective U.S. global health and development interventions that reinforce the values and compassion of our country, and help address the root causes of poverty that are the source of instability in low- and middle-income countries.”

Read the support letters to Congress and USAID for more information.

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

About Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is an independent public-private partnership affiliated with the George W. Bush Institute that leads coordinated action to save women’s and girls’ lives from cancer in low-resource settings. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is dedicated to the delivery of services for the prevention and treatment of cervical and breast cancer. With the engagement of national governments, non-governmental and multilateral organizations, and key local leadership, the partnership builds country-owned, sustainable programs that allow women and girls to access the care they need to thrive. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon currently support efforts in Botswana, Namibia, Peru, Zambia, Tanzania and Ethiopia.


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