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PRESS STATEMENT ON CERVICAL CANCER FIGHT FUNDING

Geneva (22 May, 2019) – ZAMBIA is one of the six countries to benefit from the US$33 million joint funding from Unitaid and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) project fight against cervical cancer.
Unitaid and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) have since signed an innovative grant that will bring artificial intelligence and affordable treatment and screening to the fight against cervical cancer that kills one woman every two minutes and disproportionately affects low-resource countries and women living with HIV.
The 30 months long project slated to start in July this year, will be implemented in India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Zambia.
With the aim of achieving US$1 screen-and-treat solutions, the US$33 million project will deploy improved screening tools, introduce new portable devices for treatment and advance easy-to-use artificial intelligence-based tools for screening of precancerous lesions. Precancerous lesions can progress to life-threatening cervical cancer if left untreated.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women. It affects over half a million women each year and kills more than a quarter of a million. Virtually all cervical cancers are caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), a very common sexually-transmitted infection.
In high-income countries, several strategies have proved successful in decreasing the cervical cancer burden, including early detection and treatment of precancerous lesions. In remote settings, however, progress has been held back by high costs, ineffective screening methods and ill-adapted treatment devices. A fresh approach is needed in low – and middle-income countries.

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