Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa Cervical Cancer Elimination project
Their focus is ongoing development of practice guidelines, training standards and research goals in this key area of women’s healthcare – in particular women’s cancer care – are in large part due to the tireless work of the over 200 members of GOC, the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists of Canada.
A group of prominent international experts gathered last December 2018 for the HPV workshop. During the workshop, the group discussed where Canada stands in the fight against HPV and identified what actions must be taken in order to achieve the 90-90-90 Declaration objectives. These identified steps will be important for Canada and will be useful to share with the international community to highlight Canadian leadership in HPV prevention. A formal report including several chapters addressing each of the 90-90-90 tiers was handed in to Global Affairs Canada in May 2019.
We are currently partnered with ministries of health as well as key leaders in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Guinea, and Mali to implement a structure to reach the World Health Organization (WHO) 2030 goals to be on the path to cervical cancer elimination within the century. The Global Executive Committee consists of Amelie McFadyen, project manager; Dr. Marc Steben, project leader; Teresa Norris, spokesperson for the project, advocacy leader and non- governmental organization (NGO) representative; Dr. Salim Sohani, public health specialist; Dr Zeev Rosberger, communication methods and research; Dr. Nitika Pai, point of care testing and innovation; Dr. José Jeronimo, implementation and screening; Roger Simard, artificial intelligence/ digital health expert; Dr. Ghislain Sangwa project leader for DRC; Dr. Ibrahima Teguete project leader for Mali; Dr. Namory Keita project leader for Guinea. This committee oversees and steers all the subcommittees.
The Global Executive Committee oversees and provides guidance to the global scientific committee led by Dr. Steben and Teresa Norris and the three national project leaders in the three countries, Dr. Ghislain Sangwa, Dr. Ibrahima Teguete and Dr. Namory Keita. They will in turn interface with the national scientific committees of each country.
Each National Scientific Committee for DRC, Mali and Guinea are led by their project leaders; Dr. Ghislain Sangwa for DRC, Dr. Ibrahima Teguete for Mali and Dr. Namory Keita for Guinea. Each country’s National Scientific Committee will also have a designated national representative within their respective health ministry. Each country will also respectively have four designated individuals to supervise their own national plan pertaining to each of the 4 pillars of HPV prevention from vaccination, testing & treatment, surgery/chemotherapy/radiotherapy to palliative care.
The focus of the four pillars are representative of what is required to implement protocols and programs that will accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer:
- School-based vaccination programs; primary and secondary prevention through vaccination
- Testing and treatments of cancers with link to care; screening for and treatment of pre- cancerous lesions
- Treatment and management of cancers with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery; prolonging life through timely management of early cancer
- Palliative care, ensuring appropriate access
Cervical cancer elimination in low and middle-income countries (LMIC)
We have partnered with the Canadian Red Cross in their proposed SRHR project to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) for Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Guinea, in order to address, amongst other things, accelerating reaching the WHO cervical cancer elimination targets in LMIC. Our has created an advocacy plan to roll out over six years in Mali, DRC and Guinea using our convening powers globally, regionally and at the country level with local Ministries of Health towards prevention planning and scaling of HPV/cervical cancer interventions. The implementation of this strategy is based on our evidenced-based communication methods. We will convey to the Governments, more specifically their ministries of health, that there is an urgency for cost-effective nationwide prevention and screening policy based on best practices for elimination of cervical cancer within the century. Our advocacy efforts will be disseminated at community level to ensure the new policies and strategies are utilized to their full potential. Based on the outcomes it will be possible to grow the strategy exponentially towards a global reach. In order for our advocacy efforts to be effective, a four-prong approach will be used consisting of research, development of core and tailored messages, community and ministry mobilization, and monitoring/evaluation. In order to roll out this plan, we have created an organizational structure including Canadian and local experts in each of the three countries.