Rotary awards US$2 million to prevent cervical cancer in Egypt
More than 30,000 girls to be vaccinated against HPV, 10,000 women will be screened for cervical cancer in greater Cairo
CAIRO, Egypt (May 28, 2023) — In Egypt, less than 10 percent of women have undergone cervical cancer screenings in the last 5 years, and of those diagnosed with cervical cancer, over half have died as a result (1).
The Rotary-led initiative 'United to End Cervical Cancer in Egypt' aims to reduce cervical cancer cases and enhance women's health in Egypt through targeted awareness-raising and improved access to preventative care.
A large majority of cervical cancer is due to the human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract. It is considered one of the most preventable cancers, yet 90 percent (2) of the deaths it causes, occur in low- and middle-income countries because routine HPV vaccinations and cervical cancer screenings aren't available. Social and cultural misconceptions also affect women's choices about seeking proper health measures and vaccination for HPV.
By providing vaccines to girls, regular screenings and timely treatment for women, the initiative strives to reduce the burden of this preventable disease and encourage communities to prioritize cervical health.
Initiated by the Rotary Club of El Tahrir, supported by Rotary clubs in Greater Cairo and modeled after President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi's Egyptian Women's Health Initiative on breast cancer, the program was awarded $2 million by The Rotary Foundation. With the expertise and knowledge of key program partners, Rotary aims to vaccinate more than 30,000 girls ages 9-15 and provide screenings for 10,000 women in greater Cairo and launch a public awareness campaign to reach 4 million people. Health care workers, school administrators, and staff will receive training on HPV and cervical cancer to ensure proper care and counseling for women and girls.
"By increasing awareness and promoting preventive care for cervical cancer, we can save lives and create healthier communities in Egypt," said Dr. Amal El-Sisi, Professor of Pediatrics, Cairo University and member of the Rotary Club of El Tahrir. "As we gather data for the first time on the HPV and cervical cancer burden in the Greater Cairo area, we are gaining crucial insights into the overall prevalence in Egypt. Upscaling our efforts will enable us to reach more women and girls in Egypt and empower them with the knowledge and tools they need to take control of their health."
'United to End Cervical Cancer in Egypt' takes Rotary members' commitment to prevent cervical cancer and improve women's health to the next level by building a longer-term, multi-stakeholder partnership on the ground in Egypt with the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population, the Egyptian Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, the NGO Sona3 el Khair Development Foundation, Cairo University's Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, the World Health Organization in Egypt, and the National Cancer Institute.
"The Egyptian government is committed to improving women's health, and we are pleased to work in partnership with Rotary clubs in Egypt to prevent cervical cancer in our country as part of the new presidential initiative for early cancer detection," said Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Health and Population. "By working together, we can achieve our shared goal of creating a healthier and more equitable society for all Egyptians. This partnership is a testament of how collaboration and innovation can have a meaningful impact on the health and well-being of our communities".
'United to End Cervical Cancer in Egypt' is Rotary's third Programs of Scale award recipient - an annual competitive grant process that awards $2 million to an evidence-based program that aligns with one of Rotary's causes and has the capability for scaling-up to help more people. The programs are sponsored by Rotary members in collaboration with local communities and partner organizations.
Rotary members throughout the world develop and implement sustainable, community-driven projects that fight disease, promote peace, provide clean water, support education, help mothers and children, grow local economies and protect the environment. Over US$5.5 billion has been awarded through The Rotary Foundation – Rotary's charitable arm that helps clubs work together to perform meaningful, impactful service
About Rotary: Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.4 million members of more than 46,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit Rotary.org.
Rotary: Claudia Brunner, +41.44.387.7116, email@example.com
Jennifer Jones, Rotary International President
"Rotary believes that every woman and girl should have access to quality healthcare, no matter where they live. With the 'United to End Cervical Cancer in Egypt' initiative, we are taking a critical step towards making this a reality. By providing preventative care, we can empower them with the knowledge and resources they need to stay healthy and thrive. Our joint efforts endeavor to establish more resilient communities through a shared vision for women's health, ultimately saving lives and demonstrating Rotary's capacity to create large-scale, impactful projects that foster lasting change."
Ian H.S. Riseley, Trustee Chair of The Rotary Foundation
"With Rotary's Programs of Scale, our members are inspired to tackle large-scale challenges and collaborate with organizations that share our vision for transformative change. Drawing on our experience from the global effort to eradicate polio, we understand that collaboration and the integration of specialized skills, talents, and resources amplify our impact. This synergy enables Rotary members to develop and implement ambitious, results-driven initiatives, leveraging past successes to build healthier, more resilient communities."
Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Elazab, Chairman of the Board of The Egyptian Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology
"Collaboration with organizations like Rotary is vital in our fight against cervical cancer in Egypt. By providing HPV vaccinations and cervical cancer screenings, we can make significant strides in reducing the impact of this preventable disease on the lives of Egyptian women. Through this initiative, we hope to create a culture of awareness and encourage women to prioritize their cervical health, ultimately saving lives and improving overall health outcomes."
Hany Mohamed Abd Al Fatah, Executive Manager of The Sona3 El khair Development Foundation
"The 'United to End Cervical Cancer in Egypt' is an inspiring example of how multi-stakeholder partnerships can contribute to the betterment of our communities' health. By working together with Rotary and other key partners, we can address the social and cultural misconceptions surrounding HPV and cervical cancer and equip women and girls with the information and support necessary to make informed decisions about their health. We are proud to be a part of this transformative effort to improve the lives of Egyptian women."