December 4, 2015 –Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon® and World Vision today announced a new partnership to scale up community-based education, screening, treatment, and referral programs for cervical and breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, beginning in the Republic of Zambia. “A woman who survives AIDS should not be left to die from a treatable or preventable cancer. And neither should her mother, or her sister, or a friend who does not have AIDS,” said President George W. Bush. “Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon will continue leading coordinated action with partners around the world to save women’s lives from cancer, so that they can support their families and strengthen their communities. We are thrilled that World Vision has partnered with us in this cause.” Cervical and breast cancers account for approximately 788,000 deaths globally each year, and are a leading cause of death among women in developing countries. Launched in September 2011 by the George W. Bush Institute, the United States Government through the U.S. Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen®, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon provides preventive care and treatment to women and girls at risk of women’s cancers where the need is greatest. Since its inception, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners have screened nearly 200,000 women for cervical cancer, and vaccinated over 42,000 girls against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most cases of the disease. The partnership between Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon and World Vision will build on each organization’s existing work to create a comprehensive community-based model to address cervical cancer in the Southern Province of Zambia, with concrete and measurable objectives. “A woman’s poverty should not be the cause of her death,” said Richard Stearns, president of World Vision U.S. “With our 45,000 staff around the world and our community-based networks of volunteers, we are on the front lines of meeting the maternal and health needs of women in rural communities across Africa. We are excited that this partnership will enable more women to live healthy, full, and abundant lives.” The partnership will have three main pillars of action, built on top of World Vision’s existing programming in Zambia:
- Mobilizing the Community against Cervical Cancer: This includes training the various women’s self-help groups World Vision Zambia already supports across Southern Province; educating traditional leaders, churches, and faith communities through World Vision’s Channels of Hope program; and training existing Community Health Volunteers/Community Health Assistants, with whom World Vision Zambia already works. These leaders in their communities can serve as an important entry point to larger groups of their peers, to educate them about the basics of cervical cancer, and encourage them to seek screening.
- Equipping and Training Fixed Heath Facilities and Strengthening the Referral System: Current nurses will be trained to find and eliminate cervical pre-cancer with the “See-and-Treat” approach at a series of health centers, both public-sector and faith-based, with which World Vision Zambia already has relationships. This will include referring, tracking, and transporting patients who need additional evaluation or advanced treatment for invasive cervical cancer; and procuring the required equipment and supplies and, where necessary, supporting basic renovations to buildings to accommodate the screening and treatment clinics.
- Mobile and Mass Screening and Treatment: Mobile outreach will supplement the above approaches to take “See-and-Treat” services out to women where they live, work, and gather.