Rwanda is on track to become the first country in Africa (and possibly in the world) to eliminate cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer that affects women in Rwanda, killing 940 women in 2019. But Rwanda is rapidly expanding testing, and is deploying tens of thousands of community health workers to go from door to door in villages to raise awareness. Since 2011, the nation has had a successful HPV vaccination program for 12-year-old girls. More than 1.2 million women and girls have been fully vaccinated with two doses. If screening tests come back positive, women are treated with thermal abrasion to destroy precancerous cells in the cervix. But eliminating cervical cancer is not cheap, so the HPV vaccine program is being financed by the Rwandan government and GAVI, a global vaccine alliance. Screening is also expensive, but the Rwandan government covers part of the cost; the rest comes from Unitaid (via the Clinton Health Access Initiative), Partners in Health and the World Bank.

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