Cervical cancer is an inter-generational disease and last week Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR) partners in Botswana took a big step forward in combating the disease among the younger generation. When Botswana’s Assistant Minister of Health Mr. Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri officially launched a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine demonstration project, he signified the government’s clear commitment to combatting cervical cancer in young girls.
Yet, to confront the disease we must work together with not only young girls, but also their sisters, aunts, mothers and grandmothers to ensure that we have a response to a disease that does not discriminate based on age.
In July 2012, President and Mrs. Bush led a delegation to Botswana to launch PRRR in the country, and in just nine months, the national program has emerged as a coordinated, government-led response to meet the needs of multiple generations. In Botswana, the government’s comprehensive cervical cancer control program has been augmented by a donation of GARDASIL HPV vaccine doses from PRRR corporate partner Merck, and resources and technical assistance from the World Bank, U.S. Government and other PRRR partners.
The “See and Treat” secondary prevention approach – visual inspection with acetic acid and cryotherapy – will be central to Botswana’s cervical cancer control efforts. Other plans include strengthening the health system to provide the HPV vaccines to girls, treating more women with advanced cases of the disease, and promoting education programs for a variety of audiences. Together, these pieces will form a concerted and bold effort to combat cervical cancer.
Last week’s step by the Botswana government adds a new and vital component to the fight against cervical cancer. There is no better way to celebrate this year’s World Health Day than to showcase significant progress in cervical cancer control in one of PRRR engagement countries—Botswana. We salute the commitment of the government and its partners and look forward to supporting these efforts as they spread nationwide.
14 Things to Know About the Life-Saving Work of PEPFAR on its 14th Anniversary
This weekend marks the 14th anniversary of PEPFAR, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which President George W. Bush signed into law on May 27, 2003 as part of the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003. Since then PEPFAR has saved nearly 12 million lives. Here’s a look at 14 interesting facts about PEPFAR, which has lead the progress in the global campaign to end AIDS. In 2003, at the signing of the PEPFAR legislation, less than 50,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa were on antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV/AIDS, now 11.5 million individuals are on ART due to PEPFAR. 99.5 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women are receiving ART, a more than 40 percent increase since the beginning of 2014. This has led to nearly 2 million babies being born HIV-free to infected mothers. Since the start of PEPFAR, new HIV Infections have declined 51 to 76 percent. Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) can reduce men&rs
Reflections on Mother’s Day : The Generational Impact of PEPFAR
This year, we are celebrating progress due in large part to PEPFAR, and also the commitment of the international community, and the leadership of National Governments to work toward an AIDS-free generation. Because of PEPFAR -- nearly two million babies have been born HIV-free to mothers who live with HIV/AIDS.
President and Mrs. Bush's Visit to Namibia and Botswana in Photos
President and Mrs. Bush visited Botswana and Namibia but delivered a message to Congress and the American people: human lives in Africa matter.
Remarks by President Bush at Windhoek Central Hospital
"It’s very important for people in our country to understand that millions now live, who would not have. It’s in our national interest to help these governments, and this government, deal with the pandemic, which 15 years ago was destroying countries."