Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women worldwide; there are an estimated 528,000 new cases and over 266,000 new deaths from cervical cancer each year. Most (85%) of the burden of illness and mortality from cervical cancer occurs in low- and lower-middle income countries, because routine cervical cancer screening and treatment is not available. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends two doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for girls aged 9-14 years, for primary prevention of cervical cancer. Countries should determine cost-effective and sustainable delivery strategies to obtain optimal coverage in this novel target population. WHO recommends countries consider vaccinating multiple age cohorts, in the first year, to accelerate vaccine impact. Some programmatic experience has been gained from Gavi-supported demonstration projects. However, because few Gavi-eligible countries have introduced nationally, gaps remain in understanding scale-up, equity and sustainability.
About Dr Anagha Loharikar
Dr Anagha Loharikar is a medical officer in Global Immunization Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In this role, she provides technical assistance to countries for vaccine introduction, program implementation and evaluation and develops broader public health research to understand vaccine effectiveness and program equity, sustainability and impact with focused areas in Human papillomavirus and typhoid conjugate vaccine. Dr Loharikar is a board certified pediatrician; she completed medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago and pediatric training at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in Bronx, New York. After residency, she completed epidemiology training in the Epidemic Intelligence Service at CDC.