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The Year in Review for Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon

December 22, 2015 by Crystal Cazier

Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon has worked throughout 2015 to continue to provide access to education, prevention, screening and treatment services for cervical and breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s partners have screened nearly 200,000 women for cervical pre-cancer, and over 6,000 for breast cancer in Botswana, Tanzania and Zambia. Implementation of activities in Ethiopia will begin in 2016.

In February 2015, Secretary Margaret Spellings, President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, launched Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s work in Ethiopia, alongside the First Lady of Ethiopia, Her Excellency Mrs. Roman Tesfaye, and the Ethiopian Federal Minister of Health, the Honorable Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu. Through support from GlaxoSmithKline, one of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s foundational activities in Ethiopia has been assisting with the completion of a national cancer control strategy. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon implementing partner, Mathiwos Wondu-YeEthiopia Cancer Society, seconded a technical advisor to the Federal Ministry of Health, who was responsible for the development of the document. On October 26, 2015, the First Lady and Minister of Health launched the Ethiopian National Cancer Control Plan (NCCP), the country’s long-term roadmap for cancer prevention and care.

Also in February 2015, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon celebrated with Botswana as the country kicked off the nationwide roll-out of vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes 70 percent of cases of cervical cancer. The first dose of the two-dose regimen resulted in an impressive coverage rate of 98 percent of all girls in the country between the ages of 9 to 13. Delivery of the second dose will be completed by the end of the year.

Marking a new chapter for the partnership, at the Global Women’s Network: A Summit of Ideas, Innovation and Partnerships, in September 2015, President George W. Bush announced Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s establishment as an autonomous, non-profit organization that will maintain affiliation with the Bush Institute, but have greater flexibility to expand, receive and make international grants, and raise funds around the world.

On the margins of the United Nations General Assembly meetings, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon was honored to ring the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange on September 29, 2015.

Later that week, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon was featured as an exemplary public-private partnership on a panel at the Concordia Summit. Ambassador Nancy Brinker of Susan G. Komen® provided opening remarks, and Secretary Spellings chaired a panel that included Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, as well as Bill Steiger, interim Chief Executive Office for Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon.

At the end of November 2015, the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon implementing partners held a mass-screening campaign in Iringa Region, Tanzania. More than 1,000 women were screened for cervical and breast cancer over the course of two days at the event sponsored by Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon.

To commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1, 2015, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon and the Bush Institute hosted a screening of Countdown to Zero, a documentary created by VICE on HBO, which highlights the fight to end AIDS and the success of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). A short video created by VICE affirms President Bush’s continued legacy through the work of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon.

Finally, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon and World Vision announced a new partnership on December 4, 2015 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.