Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon gives girls and women in low-resource settings the opportunity to thrive throughout their lives. While our specific activities vary by location, they often begin with helping to establish evidence-based national policies and strategies for addressing women’s cancer, educating local communities about breast and cervical cancer, and then mobilizing women to advocate for access to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support. In many places, we build on the infrastructure, training and referral networks already established by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon offers pre-adolescent girls vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most cases of cervical cancer. We support country-led vaccination campaigns with vaccine donations, programmatic expertise for rollout and implementation, and resources for community education and outreach.
“These programs survive and thrive when local leaders take ownership and commit their resources... Our goal is to create working models, proven partnerships, that additional countries over time can expand and incorporate into their own national plans.” Former President George W. Bush, August 2014.
Performers at the cervical cancer “see-and-treat” program launch in Lobatse, Botswana, September 2015
Photo ©Courtesy of Meg Bertram, U.S. National Cancer Institute
We continue our assistance across the lifespan by supporting partners to screen women for breast cancer via clinical breast examinations, and providing screening for cervical cancer for women aged 30-49 years, particularly those living with HIV. (According to the Government of Zambia’s guidelines, we screen women aged 25-49 years there).
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s partners implement the simple, inexpensive “See-and-Treat” approach to screening cervical pre-cancer. It involves visual inspection of the cervix with vinegar (acetic acid) to detect pre-cancerous lesions, followed soon or immediately afterward, when necessary, by ablative or electrosurgical (LEEP) treatment, as dictated by the woman’s needs. We are also helping test new molecular diagnostic technologies that will help focus resources on women at highest risk of developing cancer.
In cases in which cervical or breast cancer is suspected, we refer patients to appropriate facilities for diagnosis and treatment. Our support to women with cancer does not end there: in some locations, we cover the costs of their transportation to treatment facilities, and soon will help with housing for some of them when treatment far from home is needed.
We are increasingly integrating what our partners do with other health and social services, including reproductive, maternal, and child health services, and community development and education. Girls and women benefit throughout their lives from Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s training and equipment of public and private health care providers; the expertise we offer to policy-makers who design and implement cancer-control programs; and our development of global standards, tools, and guidance for the monitoring and evaluation of programs in the field.
Chikumbuso Women and Orphans Project in Lusaka, Zambia on December 3, 2011.
Photo by Paul Morse.
Please visit our country pages for information about our specific activities in each location.
As Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon continues to produce positive results and lessons that are applicable across countries, we will look for other places where our model can advance cervical and breast cancer control.