Geneva (UNA-OIC) – The World Health Organization (WHO) set out a strategy on Tuesday for eliminating cervical cancer, which would avoid the death of an estimated five million women and girls from the disease, by 2050.
“Eliminating any cancer would have once seemed an impossible dream, but we now have the cost-effective, evidence-based tools to make that dream a reality,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
In latest figures, from 2018, 570,000 women acquired cervical cancer and 311,000 died. The UN health agency warned that without action to stop the disease, annual case numbers are projected to reach 700,000, with 400,000 associated deaths, by 2030.
Tackling the disease is expected to bring huge economic dividends because of the improved prospects for women’s participation in the workforce, with $3.20 returned to the economy for every dollar invested – or $26 once the benefits for families, communities and societies are factored in.
It is worth noting that cervical cancer is a preventable disease and curable if detected early and treated in an appropriate manner. Nevertheless, it is the fourth most common cancer among women globally.