Minster of Health of Peru, Patricia Garcia and Bill Steiger, Chief Program Officer at Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon signing the official partnership agreement at the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) in Lima, Peru. (November 18, 2016)
On November 18th, in Lima, Perú, the Minister of Health, Patricia Garcia, and Bill Steiger, Chief Program Officer at Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon signed a partnership agreement to expand the fight against cervical cancer. The agreement was signed at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum and was well-attended by government officials, partners, and other stakeholders. Present at the signing were the U.S. Ambassador to Peru, Brian A. Nichols, the U.S. Department of State, Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Mari Caremn Aponte, and Peru’s Deputy Ministers of Health, Silivia Pessah and Carlos Ricse.
This is Ms. Garcia’s first official signing of an agreement as the Minister of Health and marks Perú as the sixth country to roll-out Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon programs. The development and launch of the partnership demonstrate political will at the highest levels of government, and will have significant impact for the prevention and control of cancer in Perú.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, and is the second leading cause of cancer incidence and mortality among women in Latin America and the Caribbean. In Perú, cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for women 15 to 49 years old. This life-saving partnership agreement, a model unique in Latin America, will launch in Perú to prevent and control cancer. As stated by the head of the health sector, “Diseases do not wait. Health is a responsibility of all for economic and human development. Women have a fundamental role in this”. With widespread backing from Perú at the regional and national levels and working in collaboration with Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners, Perú’s fight against cervical cancer has many benefits.
- A nationally endorsed Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Cancer of the Ministry of Health of Perú that strengthens current policies to improve the quality of and access to services for the early detection and treatment of cervical cancer;
- Innovative interventions to improve the impact of programs for the early detection of cervical cancer;
- Community mobilization and awareness raising of the importance of the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer, and increasing the number of women who seek these services (prevention, screening and early detection) at the national level;
- Strengthening and bolstering the health systems with expansion of treatment services;
- Sustainability of current initiatives to improve coverage of, referral chain for, and the quality of services;
- The agreement also includes the implementation of a National Cancer Observatory and National Cancer Registry, streamlining services across the country to cultivate a more fluid health delivery system.
Perú is making great strides, and Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is proud to partner with the country to support our shared determination to rein in cancer.
By Julie Wieland, Program Intern at Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon