Ethiopia

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Ethiopia (31.5 percent of newly developed cancers in women in 2012).

Cervical cancer is the second-most-common cancer among women in the country (17.25 percent of newly developed cancers in women in 2012).

Country targets supported by Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon:

  • Launch HPV vaccination demonstration program, and achieve at least 80 percent coverage of girls within the target population.
  • Disseminate the National Cancer-Control Plan.
  • Open 58 “Screen-and-Treat” sites.
  • Reach at least 80 percent coverage of the appropriate target populations with screening and treatment for pre-invasive cervical-cancer cases.

Please view our road map for more information about our programs in Ethiopia. 

Ethiopia Road Map

Click here to view a detailed map of PRRR sites in the country. 

HISTORY

Speaker at a reception for Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners at Yirgalem Health Centre, a PRRR-supported health facility in Yirgalem town in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region, Ethiopia

In 2014, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon began supporting the Government of Ethiopia in its establishment of a comprehensive cancer-control program, which includes breast cancer. With support from Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon and partner the Mathiwos Wondu Ye-Ethiopia Cancer Society (MWECS), First Lady Mrs. Roman Tesfaye launched the first National Cancer-Control Plan (NCCP) in October 2015.

The plan envisioned establishing five new comprehensive cancer-treatment centers in the country, alleviating the burden on the only existing center, Tikur Ambessa (Black Lion) Hospital, in Addis Ababa. The Government has committed US$ 12 million for these new centers, at university teaching hospitals in the Regions of Mek’ele, Gondar, Jima, Hawassa and Haromaya; the International Atomic Energy Agency has supported this effort via Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon.

The plan also called for decentralizing the provision of chemotherapy to 27 hospitals, and eventually offering screening for cervical cancer in every corner of Ethiopia: “Screen-and-Treat” will be available at 118 sites. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is proud to provide technical and financial assistance to complement the investments of the Ethiopian Government to implement this ambitious vision. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partner Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) of the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) is providing additional support to the Ethiopian government to consolidate existing radiotherapy and nuclear medicine series at Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, and establish new centers for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas also provides capacity building and technical assistance to the Black Lion Hospital and Ethiopian government.

In addition to working on the NCCP, during 2015, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon and our partners contributed to the scale-up of cervical pre-cancer “Screen-and-Treat” in Addis Ababa, Oromia and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR). Local organizations funded by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Cordaid, and Grounds for Health began screening Ethiopian women for cervical cancer in public and private facilities in these three areas in the second half of 2015. MWECS also began helping patients who needed advanced cancer care, currently only available at Tikur Ambessa Hospital.

A consortium led by the CDC Foundation, entitled “Improving Data for Decision-Making in Global Cervical Cancer Programs” (IDCCP), is supporting the work of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon in Ethiopia by assessing the existing system to monitor and evaluate the national program to prevent and control cervical cancer, as part of a process to develop global standards, tools and guidance to enhance the quality, coverage and scale of interventions against the disease. And alongside Her Excellency Mrs. Roman Tesfaye, we advocated among policy-makers, community members, and traditional leaders to scale up the response to cervical cancer.

In 2015,the Government of Ethiopia received support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to fund a demonstration program of vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) in the Regions of Oromia (Gomma Woreda in Jimma Zone) and Tigray (Ahiferom District), targeting 14,434 girls in 2015 and 2016. The first dose of the first round began in December 2015, and the second dose was provided in June 2016.

Looking ahead, at the request of the First Lady, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon will also be establishing a comprehensive breast cancer early detection program in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region in 2017.

PRRR is supporting the Government of Ethiopia to launch a demonstration vaccination program in two districts of the country that will reach at least 80 percent of eligible girls with the vaccine, open 59 “See-and-Treat” sites to reach a larger portion of the population in the two most populous Regions and Addis Ababa with cervical and breast cancer screening services, establish a regional center of excellence for breast cancer, and introduce new technology to more accurately screen women for cervical cancer. PRRR supported the development of the first National Cancer Control Plan that was launched in 2015 and has placed a Technical Advisor for a three-year period to support the Federal Ministry of Health to implement the plan. A total of US$ 7,710,000 has been invested in Ethiopia. Eighty percent of PRRR program funding comes from private sector funds from GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and PEPFAR contributes about 20 percent. Of the total, US$ 5,060,000 was committed in cash, and an additional US$ 2,650,000 was committed as in-kind contributions. The Government of Ethiopia has shown strong leadership in the First Lady who co-chairs the National Technical Working Group for Cancer Control. The Government is using its own funds to open up to 1,500 “See-and-Treat” sites and aims to reach every district of the country, and is also establishing and equipping five regional centers of excellence for cancer control over a five year-period. This is included in the National Cancer Control Strategy for 2016 to 2021. PRRR is currently testing the MobileODT digital cervicography device in the country.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Ethiopia (31.5 percent of newly developed cancers in women in 2012), and cervical cancer is the second-most-common cancer among women in the country (17.25 percent of newly developed cancers in women in 2012). In 2014, PRRR began supporting the Government of Ethiopia in its establishment of a comprehensive cancer control program, which includes breast cancer. On the request of the First Lady, PRRR will also be establishing a comprehensive breast cancer early detection program in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region of the country in 2017.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Progress of PRRR Collaboration in Ethiopia (October 2015 – December 2016)

  • Sites that currently offer cervical cancer screening and treatment: 36
  • Health staff trained in “See-and-Treat”: 81
  • Health staff trained in Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP): 9
  • Health staff trained in clinical breast exams: 30
  • Women Screened with VIA: 17,431
    • Of Women Screened, Number VIA-Positive: 1,590
    • Of Women VIA-Positive, Number Treated with Cryotherapy: 1,379 

Contributions from Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Partners

  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK): US$ 2 million over three years to support HPV vaccination, assist the FMoH to draft and publish a National Cancer-Control Plan; and expand access to the screening for, and treatment of, cervical pre-cancer.
  • IAEA: Support to the Ethiopian Government to consolidate existing radiotherapy and nuclear medicine services at Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, and establish new centers for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients at university teaching hospitals in Gondar, Hawassa, Jimma, Meke’le, and Haromaya. The estimated value of this assistance for the next two years is over US $2 million.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation: US$ 1.2 million for community-based cervical-cancer programming.
  • U.S. Government: US$ 1 million through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to advance efforts to screen for and treat cervical pre-cancer by building on the PEPFAR- supported HIV/AIDS service-delivery platform; HHS/NIH/NCI US$10,000 in-kind contribution of the cancer-registry site assessment in Ethiopia.
  • Cordaid Global Leaders: US$ 600,000 over two years to support screen-and-treat sites for cervical pre-cancer in SNNPR and Addis Ababa.

Performers at a reception for Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners at Yirgalem Health Centre, a PRRR-supported health facility in Yirgalem town in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region

  • Grounds for Health: US $260,000 to improve the coverage of screening and preventive therapy for cervical pre-cancer in coffee cooperatives in the Sidama zone of SNNPR.
  • American Cancer Society (ACS): US$ 40,000 extension of a “Meet the Targets” grant to the Mathiwos Wondu Ye-Ethiopia Cancer Society, to support cancer-planning and advocacy activities; US$ 33,000 to train local Ethiopian organizations in awareness-raising, community-mobilization, and messaging for HPV vaccination.
  • BMGF/CDC Foundation/IU: Baseline analysis of data system for cervical cancer under IDCCP project.

 

2017 Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Priorities

  1. Train and equip health workers to provide “See-and-Treat” services at the twelve referral hub hospitals and 46 satellite sites.
  2. Train Health Extension Workers around PRRR-supported sites in Oromia and SNNPR.
  3. Begin implementation of programming funded through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
  4. Complete and disseminate IDCCP analysis of data system for cervical cancer and resulting recommendations.