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NEW: GAVI approves support for HPV vaccine demonstration programmes in eight countries
On 4 February, the GAVI Alliance joined its partners to celebrate World Cancer Day and help dispel the myths about cancer, such as the idea that cancer is a non-communicable disease. As many as 1.9 million cancer cases a year are believed to be caused by infections.
Hepatitis B (hepB) vaccine, for example, is more than 50 times more infectious than HIV and a major cause of liver cancer across the globe. As many as two billion people alive today are estimated to have been infected with hepB, while 350 million are chronically infected. More than a quarter of these people will go on to develop liver cancer or cirrhosis of the liver, which together kill 900,000 people each year.
Similarly, almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common and highly infectious sexually transmitted agent. Of the 275,000 women and girls who die of cervical cancer every year, 85% live in the world’s poorest countries. If left unchecked the number of deaths is expected to rise to 430,000 by 2030.
Since its launch in 2000 GAVI has been working with its partners to protect children from infectious cancers:
HepB vaccine: GAVI support has enabled an additional 330 million children to be vaccinated against hepB
HPV vaccine: on February 4, GAVI approved support for HPV vaccine demonstration programmes in eight countries, with the long-term goal of vaccinating 30 million of the world’s poorest women and girls by 2020.
Vaccinating against cervical cancer: HPV in Rwanda
One in six or nearly two million of all cancer cases worldwide are caused by chronic infections like hepatitis B and human papillomavirus; in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa, it is as many as one in three.
Safe and effective vaccines already exist for hepatitis B and human papillomavirus, while new vaccines are in the pipeline for other infections like hepatitis C, Helicobacter pylori and Epstein-Barr which can cause lymphomas.
In its first ten years, GAVI helped to spur a price reduction for hepatitis B vaccines of US$ 0.56 per dose to $0.18 per dose, a drop of 69%.
Hepatitis B (hepB) vaccines are more than 95% effective at protecting infants, children and young adults from hepB infection, which is responsible for the vast majority of the 700,000 deaths liver cancer deaths each year.
With GAVI’s help 330 million additional children have been immunised against hepatitis B since 2000, preventing more than three million premature deaths.
Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in GAVI-eligible countries, killing 275,00 women and girls every year. Virtually all cervical cancer cases are caused by chronic HPV infection.
If left unchecked, the number of deaths from cervical cancer is expected to rise to 430,000 women each year by 2030. From 2013 GAVI is supporting the introduction of human papillomavirus vaccines that can against 70% of cervical cancer cases, with the aim of immunising over 30 million girls by 2020.
Director, Breast and Gynecologic Cancer of American Cancer Society,Debbie Saslow
Debbie Saslow speaking on YouTube
“We are very grateful to GAVI for making life-saving HPV vaccines affordable and accessible to young girls and women when they can be most effective.”
Creator of the HPV vaccine,Ian Frazer
“Today’s announcement by GAVI of country approvals for HPV demonstration projects is another big step forward to ensuring that girls living in developing countries enjoy the same access to HPV vaccines as girls elsewhere in the world.”
Minister of Health of Malawi,Hon. Catherine Gotani Hara
"It is imperative that young women and girls be protected against cervical cancer. Given that most women in Africa often lack access to screening and treatment services, the HPV vaccine is our best hope at protecting girls against this deadly disease."
Target districts: largely rural Dangme West in the south of the country | predominantly metropolitan Tamale Metro in the north
Target district: Kitui County
Target population group: 18,000 girls aged 9-13
Target districts: Vientiane Municipality | Vientiane Province.
Target districts: Soavinandriana rural district | Toamasina 1 urban district
Target districts: Zomba | Rumphi
Target population group: more than 10,000 girls per year starting September 2013
Target districts: Niamey II | Madarounfa
Target population group: 19,000 11-year-olds per year
Target district: Bo state
Target population group: mixture of school age, health facility and outreach
Target districts: Moshi urban, Moshi rural, Hai & Siha, Rombo in the Kilimanjaro region
04 November 2013
Ghana to vaccinate girls against HPV with GAVI support
School girls in four districts to be immunised against leading cause of cervical cancer.
10 October 2013
India to scale-up pentavalent nationally
The GAVI Alliance welcomes the decision. The national scale-up of pentavalent vaccine in India could save a million lives.
02 October 2013
Lao PDR first South East Asian nation to introduce pneumococcal and cervical cancer vaccines with GAVI support
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) becomes the first South East Asian nation to introduce pneumococcal vaccine and begin a demonstration project for HPV vaccine, simultaneously tackling two major killers of children and women respectively – pneumococcal disease and cervical cancer.
World Cancer Day
Partnership for Maternal Newborn & Child Health
Union for International Cancer Control
American Cancer Society
Cervical Cancer ACTION
Norwegian Cancer Society
ALIAM Contre le cancer
The toll of cervical cancerApproximately 275,000 women die every year from cervical cancer with 88% occurring in developing countries, but HPV vaccines offer protection against 70% of all cervical cancer cases
© GAVI Alliance 2013
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