Experts from the Costa Rican Agency for Biomedical Research (ACIB) see in Costa Rica a great potential to become the first developing nation, declared free of Cervical Cancer. The assessment was made after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it will implement a worldwide elimination strategy for this type of cancer.
According to Dr. Rolando Herrero, director of the ACIB Scientist, and who is a collaborator WHO for many years, “the conditions are given thanks to our health system and the history of research that our country has on this issue that began in 1985, when the first studies began in the Guanacaste Project, now converted into ACIB”.
Research carried out at the Agency has been essential to demonstrate that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the cause of cervical cancer, and they are currently working on a project to determine if just one dose of the vaccine is enough to avoid the virus.
WHO strategy includes three goals
The WHO strategy contemplates achieving three goals by 2030: that 70% of women are examined before the age of 35 and again before the age of 45 by means of a high pressure test; that 90% of girls by age 15 have the HPV vaccine, and that 90% of women diagnosed with cervical cancer receive treatment.
This plan envisions that the investment in interventions to achieve these goals, generates economic and social benefits. It is estimated that for each dollar that is invested in the strategy, US $ 3.20 will return to the economy, through increased participation of women in the workforce.
According to experts, cervical cancer is a preventable disease, however, if no additional measures are taken, the annual number of new cases of this disease is expected to increase from 570,000 to 700,000 between 2018 and 2030 worldwide.