Mission Possible: Europe Should Now Take the Lead in the Achievement of the WHO’s Cervical Cancer Elimination Strategy

12 August 2020
The World Health Organization has recently announced that all final processes had now been completed to consider its Global Strategy for the Elimination of Cervical Cancer finalised and agreed. 
Responding to the publication of the WHO’s finalised Strategy for the Global Elimination of Cervical Cancer, Dr Matti Aapro, President of the European Cancer Organisation, said:

aapro 210x210“A ray of light shines today after a year of otherwise bleak health news. That countries around the world have agreed to work together to eliminate a preventable cancer is an uplifting recognition of the incredible public health gains we can make when determined to cooperate towards shared ambitions.

At the European Cancer Organisation we believe this opportunity is also the chance for Europe to demonstrate global leadership not only via early achievement of the Cervical Cancer Elimination Strategy’s targets and recommendations, but also by reaching further and seeking the elimination of ALL HPV associated cancers.

We owe this to every one of the estimated 87,000 new patients in the WHO Europe region impacted by an HPV-related cancer diagnosis each year.”


Professor Daniel Kelly, Co-Chair of the European Cancer Organisation’s HPV Action Network and Past President of the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) said:

kelly 210x210“Vaccines work. It is because they work that a WHO goal such as eliminating cervical cancer can be contemplated. It is also because they work, and that so many countries in Europe are already implementing gender neutral HPV vaccination programmes, that we can now afford to go further than the WHO goal, and target the elimination of ALL HPV-related cancers.

In this year of action by the EU on cancer, it is vital that Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, the EU Cancer Mission and other initiatives align to help achieve the WHO’s inspiring vision of a world in which some cancers, that can have such devastating consequences, have been eliminated.”


Professor Rui Medeiros, Co-Chair of the European Cancer Organisation’s HPV Action Network and Vice-President of the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) said:

medeiros 210x210rev“In Portugal we have shown what is possible in respect to tackling cervical and other HPV related cancers. Strong political commitment to enacting public health policies such as universal (girls and boys) HPV vaccination, comprehensive screening programmes, and other actions on treatment and public awareness is what is required. All the tools are already there and well known.

There is now no excuse for any country in Europe not to embrace this global elimination goal. Indeed we must now go further, by seeking the elimination of ALL HPV related cancers as a public health problem.”