Preventing cervical cancer in Lao People's Democratic Republic

October 2013

WHO/C. McNab

This month, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic introduced the vaccine that helps to prevent cervical cancer.

Each year, more than 270 000 women globally die of cervical cancer, and 85% of these live in low- and middle-income countries. Often, screening for pre-cancerous lesions and cervical cancer treatment are unavailable due to a lack of trained personnel, equipment and affordable therapy.

The vaccine works by preventing infection with the human papillomaviruses (HPV) that cause about 70% of cervical cancers.

Due to its high cost, the vaccine has been out of reach in many low- and middle-income countries. But now the GAVI Alliance, with technical support from WHO, is making it available to girls.

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is one of the first countries to launch an HPV vaccine demonstration project.

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