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Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon and World Vision Join Forces to Fight Women’s Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon® and World Vision today announced a new partnership to scale up community-based education, screening, treatment, and referral programs for cervical and breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, beginning in the Republic of Zambia.
“A woman who survives AIDS should not be left to die from a treatable or preventable cancer. And neither should her mother, or her sister, or a friend who does not have AIDS,” said President George W. Bush. “Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon will continue leading coordinated action with partners around the world to save women’s lives from cancer, so that they can support their families and strengthen their communities. We are thrilled that World Vision has partnered with us in this cause.”
Cervical and breast cancers account for approximately 788,000 deaths globally each year, and are a leading cause of death among women in developing countries. Launched in September 2011 by the George W. Bush Institute, the United States Government through the U.S. Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen®, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon provides preventive care and treatment to women and girls at risk of women’s cancers where the need is greatest. Since its inception, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners have screened nearly 200,000 women for cervical cancer, and vaccinated over 42,000 girls against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most cases of the disease.
The partnership between Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon and World Vision will build on each organization’s existing work to create a comprehensive community-based model to address cervical cancer in the Southern Province of Zambia, with concrete and measurable objectives.
"A woman’s poverty should not be the cause of her death,” said Richard Stearns, president of World Vision U.S. “With our 45,000 staff around the world and our community-based networks of volunteers, we are on the front lines of meeting the maternal and health needs of women in rural communities across Africa. We are excited that this partnership will enable more women to live healthy, full, and abundant lives."
The partnership will have three main pillars of action, built on top of World Vision’s existing programming in Zambia:
- Mobilizing the Community against Cervical Cancer: This includes training the various women’s self-help groups World Vision Zambia already supports across Southern Province; educating traditional leaders, churches, and faith communities through World Vision’s Channels of Hope program; and training existing Community Health Volunteers/Community Health Assistants, with whom World Vision Zambia already works. These leaders in their communities can serve as an important entry point to larger groups of their peers, to educate them about the basics of cervical cancer, and encourage them to seek screening.
- Equipping and Training Fixed Heath Facilities and Strengthening the Referral System: Current nurses will be trained to find and eliminate cervical pre-cancer with the “See-and-Treat” approach at a series of health centers, both public-sector and faith-based, with which World Vision Zambia already has relationships. This will include referring, tracking, and transporting patients who need additional evaluation or advanced treatment for invasive cervical cancer; and procuring the required equipment and supplies and, where necessary, supporting basic renovations to buildings to accommodate the screening and treatment clinics.
- Mobile and Mass Screening and Treatment: Mobile outreach will supplement the above approaches to take “See-and-Treat” services out to women where they live, work, and gather.
“Working together, World Vision and Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon can help bring life-saving screening and treatment for cervical cancer to many more women in Zambia,” said Bill Steiger, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon. “Tapping into the grass-roots, community-based networks of women World Vision supports will allow us to bring education and services to them where they live, work and gather.”
About Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon®
Affiliated with the George W. Bush Institute, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon leads coordinated action to save women and girls’ lives from cancer in countries where the need is greatest. Founded in September 2011 by the George W. Bush Institute, the U.S. Government through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen®, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon today boasts over 22 member organizations. The current country portfolio includes Botswana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia, and the partnership is considering expanding to additional countries in 2016. From its inception, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners have rapidly scaled-up in-country activities for the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer, having screened almost 200,000 women for cervical cancer, and more than 6,000 women for breast cancer.
About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. WVUS serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender, and works in nearly 100 countries around the world. World Vision provides emergency assistance to children and families affected by natural disasters and civil conflict, works with communities to develop long-term solutions to alleviate poverty, and advocates for biblical justice on behalf of the poor. Founded in 1950, World Vision is among the largest non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the world, with over 45,000 staff.