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U.S. Falling Behind African Nations In HPV Vaccine Coverage, Must Ensure Immunizations To Eradicate Disease

Forbes: Low Hanging Fruit: Cervical Cancer And How The U.S. Is Falling Behind
Bill Frist, former U.S. senator from Tennessee and chair of Hope Through Healing Hands, and Saketh Guntupalli, assistant professor of gynecologic oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine

“…[O]ne area where we lag behind even some African nations is in preventing cervical cancer — the most common gynecologic cancer worldwide. … [I]n 2010, Rwanda’s Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, … launch[ed] a national campaign to vaccinate schoolgirls against HPV — the human papilloma virus that causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer. … Soon after Dr. Binagwaho launched the vaccination program in Rwanda [reaching a more than 95 percent coverage rate in 2012], Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon began working to vaccinate over 42,000 girls Zambia and Botswana and perform cervical cancer screening for over 180,000 women for cervical cancer in Zambia, Botswana, and Tanzania. Yet only thirty-five percent of American girls and young women receive the vaccination. … In truth, the eradication of cervical cancer from the United States is low hanging fruit. … We must ensure that our young women have the chance to enter this century free from preventable diseases such as cervical cancer, so they can realize their maximum potential” (8/15).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.