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GAVI Alliance-Supported HPV Vaccine Campaign To Reach 30M Girls

Writing in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, Dagfinn Høybråten, chair of the GAVI Alliance Board, notes the GAVI Alliance’s campaign to provide vaccines for human papillomavirus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer, to women worldwide, and states, “By 2020, we estimate that countries will have immunized more than 30 million girls in 40 countries against this silent killer.” He continues, “Making HPV vaccine available to girls in developing countries marks a huge step for GAVI,” because “[f]or the first time we will help countries offer vaccination to girls of school age” instead of infants. “Prevention is usually better than treatment. This is never more true than when the opportunity to prevent comes in the form of a simple vaccination while the diagnosis and treatment is, in many cases, simply not accessible,” Høybråten writes, concluding, “It fills me with pride to know that the GAVI Alliance is at the forefront of ensuring that women in developing countries have access to the same vaccines as their counterparts in the industrialized world” (5/16).