President George W. Bush today announced the launch of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon® in Tanzania, the third official site of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon engagement. The announcement was made at the final day of the Bush Institute’s African First Ladies Summit, “Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa,” in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to focus on effective investments in women that lead to greater stability and prosperity in countries.
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon builds on existing healthcare programs to integrate cervical cancer prevention—including increased access to HPV vaccinations—screenings and treatment, as well as breast and cervical cancer education in sub-Saharan Africa. The primary goal of the partnership is to reduce deaths from these women’s cancers in developing nations.
Organizing members of the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership, including the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen®, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and corporate and foundation members Merck and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation announced commitments to advance the initiative’s engagement in Tanzania.
PEPFAR will further Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s engagement in Tanzania by committing $3 million dollars to the initiative in Tanzania to expand the screening and treatment of women with cervical cancer. As part of this commitment, the program delivered 16 new cryotherapy machines to the country this week. These will be critical to the treatment of early cervical cancer in Tanzanian women and will dramatically increase the number of women who have access to cervical cancer screening and treatment services.
“We applaud the launch of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon-Tanzania by President and Mrs. Bush as the third Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon country. This innovative public-partnership leverages existing health programs and infrastructure to deliver life-saving screening for cervical cancer. PEPFAR is proud to provide these funds today in support of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon and the Government of Tanzania’s strategic response to cervical cancer,” said Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Head of the Office of Global Health Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State.
UNAIDS emphasized its continued support of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon in Botswana, Tanzania and Zambia through a commitment of $100,000 over three years to help promote the engagement of women living with HIV. Working with local partners, UNAIDS will support community-based engagement in Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon countries both to ensure that HIV and cervical cancer services are a part of a comprehensive approach to women’s health and to help decrease the stigma and discrimination that has often proven to be a barrier to women accessing the care and support they require.
“In a people-centered approach we can ensure that women have access to essential health services in a holistic way. UNAIDS is proud to play this catalytic role in supporting networks of women living with HIV to bring attention and action to this issue,” said UNAIDS’ Executive Director Michel Sidibé.
In further support of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, Merck and Komen announced a partnership to commit $500,000 for HPV vaccination sensitization and awareness. Merck has donated two cryotherapy machines to Jhpiego-Tanzania, a Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) partner, to help scale-up cervical cancer screening in the country as a Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon commitment. Merck has also provided two loop electrosurgical excision procedure machines to Tanzania Health Promotion Support, a parastatal organization of the MOHSW to provide advanced treatment to women with cervical lesions in Tanzania.
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, through its Secure the Future® Program, will commit $1.2 million over the next three years to Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon in Tanzania through the deployment of Technical Assistance Teams supported by cash donations to assist with community outreach and mobilization along with community systems strengthening.
“Since its inception in 1999, Secure the Future has approached and anchored its interventions to prevent and mitigate HIV and AIDS by focusing on women,” said John Damonti, President, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “Our collaboration with Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon builds on the foundation of our work in HIV and AIDS and the lessons we have learned in southern Africa to ensure no woman saved from HIV is lost to preventable cancers.”
About Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon: Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon® builds on existing healthcare programs to integrate cervical cancer prevention—including increased access to HPV vaccinations—screenings and treatment, as well as breast and cervical cancer education in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. The primary goal of the partnership is to reduce deaths from these growing women’s cancers in developing nations. Organizing members of the partnership include the George W. Bush Institute (GWBI), the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen®, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Corporate and foundation members include BD (Becton Dickinson and Company), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Caris Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Merck, and QIAGEN. More information on the partnership can be found at www.pinkribbonredribbon.org.