Former president George W. Bush announced a new partnership with global health groups to fight against cervical cancer and breast cancer in Africa and Latin America.
The joint effort between Bush, the Department of State, Susan G. Komen, UNAIDS and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is called Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR). It aims to increase access to screening and treatment programs, create international health models and reduce cervical cancer deaths by 25 percent.
Cervical cancer is common in sub-Saharan Africa—and close to 90 percent of women have never been screened or examined for the disease. PRRR will build upon recent HIV prevention efforts to intervene on behalf of these women. It is four-five times more likely that females who test positive for HIV will also develop cervical cancer. Since there is no link between HIV and breast cancer, PRRR funds won’t go directly towards the cause but its’ partnerships will offer support.
“Many women who seek AIDS services also face the challenge of cancer,” said Bush. “It’s not enough to save a woman from AIDS, if she is then left to die of another preventable disease.”
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief already sponsors cervical cancer screenings and treatment for more than 250 clinics in 11 African countries. Through PRRR, an additional $10 million will be donated to the cause. The initiative pledged up to $75 million of public and private investments in five years to achieve its goals.