This episode highlights a potential win in the fight against cervical cancer – one that comes from a place that you might not expect. Rwanda, a low-income country, could become the first country in the world to eradicate the disease.
Armed with a remarkably ambitious vaccination program for human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, along with a screen-and-treat program to ensure earlier intervention, this small African country is doing a better job than most wealthy countries. How is this possible, and what can we learn from their efforts?
Host Heather Howard, a professor at Princeton University and former New Jersey Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, dives into these questions and more with Professor Cristina Stefan, director of the Institute of Global Health Equity Research in Rwanda, and Princeton Lecturer Alyssa Sharkey, whose research interests include global health equity and immunization. They discuss why cervical cancer places a heavier burden on women in low- and middle-income countries, the importance of HPV vaccination and expedient intervention, equity considerations, policy solutions and challenges, and lessons learned.
Read two related papers by Cristina Stefan: The World Health Organization targets for cervical cancer control by 2030: a baseline assessment in six African countries—part I; and Targeting elimination of cervical cancer by 2030: a baseline assessment in six African countries—part II.
Read this research paper by Alyssa Sharkey: Broadening the perspective on gender equity in immunization: The unique contributions of human papillomavirus vaccination.
The Princeton Pulse Podcast is a production of Princeton University's Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW). The show is hosted by Heather Howard, a professor at Princeton University and former New Jersey Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, and produced by Aimee Bronfeld, with support from Eden Teshome and Dan Quiyu. You can subscribe to The Princeton Pulse Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you enjoy your favorite podcasts.