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Stories – PSRH

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Call to Action – Towards the Elimination of Cervical Cancer in the Pacific Islands



Delegates from the following countries and organisations met in Suva, Fiji on 5-6
December 2019 and agreed the Call to Action below:

Delegates from Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Federated States
of Micronesia, Fiji and Samoa together with representatives of the Pacific Society for
Reproductive Health, Papua New Guinea Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society, Fiji
Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research,
Cervical Cancer Prevention in the Pacific, The Pacific Community (SPC), VCS Foundation,
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Kirby
Institute at the University of New South Wales, Family Planning Australia, Australian
Cervical Cancer Foundation, Fiji Cancer Society, Fiji National University, University of
Otago, National University of Samoa and Victoria University. Also present were
representatives of the United Nations Population Fund and the United Nations Children’s
Fund.
We agreed to the following principles:

  1. We support the global target to achieve elimination of cervical cancer as a public
    health problem, noting the current high burden of cervical cancer in the Pacific
    and the current lack of adequate vaccination, screening and treatment.
  2. In line with the World Health Organization (WHO) draft targets for 2030, in the
    Pacific our targets are:

    1. a. 90% of girls are fully vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) by
      15 years of age.
    2. b. 70% of women have had an HPV screening test between 30 – 39 years of
      age and a second HPV test between 40 – 49 years of age1.
    3. c. 90% of women identified with cervical pre-cancer and cancer have
      received appropriate treatment and care
  3. We support the principles of equity in striving for the elimination of cervical
    cancer in the Pacific so that no woman or community is left behind.
  4. We support the principle of meaningful collaboration between Pacific Island
    nations in planning, procurement and knowledge sharing.

We are committed to the following actions:

  1. Raising awareness of cervical cancer in the Pacific and its impact on families and
    communities and strengthening advocacy for elimination.
  2. Vaccination
    Exploring funding options including public-private partnerships for ongoing HPV
    vaccination in the Pacific.
    These two tests should be 10 years apart. Clinically validated PCR based tests should be used.
  3. Urging Pacific Island governments to include HPV vaccination against HPV onto
    existing immunization schedules.
  4. Screening
    Urging Pacific Island governments to transition to the delivery of effective cervical
    cancer screening with HPV testing and pre-cancer treatment services.
    Consideration should be given to self-collection of vaginal samples in order to
    facilitate scale up and acceptability.
  5. Treatment:
    Urging cooperation between Pacific Island Governments to establish a treatment
    centre for cervical cancer, including radiotherapy, to act as a referral hub within
    the Pacific.
  6. Workforce:
    Assisting Pacific Island governments and training agencies to develop an essential
    workforce for the delivery of HPV vaccination, cervical cancer screening and the
    management of cervical cancer.
  7. Registry establishment:
    Assisting in establishing an adequate registry to record information about
    vaccination, screening and treatment for the prevention of cervical cancer; and
    with potential linkage to a cancer registry. This will facilitate follow-up of the
    young with incomplete vaccination and women through the screening pathway. It
    will also enable robust monitoring and evaluation of vaccination and screening
    program performance.

For more information, please email/call any of the following:
Professor Alec Ekeroma, HOD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand. E: alec.ekeroma@otago.ac.nz; M:
+64212767975.
Professor Diana Sarfati, Head of Department, Public Health, University of Otago,
Wellington, New Zealand. diana.sarfati@otago.ac.nz
Professor Marion Saville, Executive Director, VCS Foundation, Melbourne, Australia.
E: msaville@vcs.org.au

Stories

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, 25 Nov

Every year, there is global advocacy on ending violence against women; 25th November is recognized as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls. This day also kicks start the “16 Days of Activism” against Gender-Based Violence up to 10 December, which is globally recognized as “Human Rights Day”.
The 16 Days of Activism provide an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of GBV as a gender and health priority issue. WHO launched a new manual for health managers and policy-makers to strengthen health systems to deliver better quality of care to women who are subjected to violence, “Strengthening health systems to respond to women subjected to intimate partner violence or sexual violence: A manual for health managers.
Additional information, including existing resources and materials can also be found at:

 

Stories

Training Remote Communities

Julian Mandof is a nurse from April River Sub-Health Centre which is located in the very remote part of the Ambuti District in the East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. The health centre looks after 3162 people. This year, she is studying to be a midwife at the University of Goroka. There is no road to the health centre

Stories

Ultrasound Scan Workshop

RANZCOG/PSRH Basic and Advanced O&G Ultrasound training. Learning Outcomes for Basic and Advanced O&G Ultrasound training include: 1. Increased knowledge and skills in how to use the machine, orientation, optimising image and getting the measurements right 2. Increased knowledge of Basic Fetal Anatomy 3.

Stories

Action needed to prevent cervical cancer

In the June issue of the Pacific Journal of Reproductive Health, Dr Rufina Latu in an editorial, wrote:

“In the Pacific, there is a need to establish simple, practical and yet cost-effective cancer control programmes. We need to work with experts and key departments to set standards, promote surveillance, encourage evidence-based prevention, early detection and treatment, and palliative care tailored to different country settings and resource capacities. If well-planned, it is possible to establish a comprehensive cancer programme designed to reduce the number of cancer cases and deaths, and improve quality of life for cancer patients, through a systematic and equitable implementation of evidence-based strategies for prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and palliation, making the best use of available resources in a multi- disciplinary participatory approach.”  The full article can be read here
Stories

Fantastic Programme for The 12th PSRH Conference in Vanuatu

If you are not coming to the 12th PSRH Conference in Port Vila, then you will be missing out on a lot of fundamentals in professional development.Are you coming to the conference?
Dr Rufina Latu and her team in Prof Caroline Homer and Prof Glen Mola has put together a scientific programme that the PSRH Board are immensely proud of.
The copy of the programme can be viewed and downloaded from here
The Local Organising Committee led by Dr Errollyn Tungu and Midwife Apisai Tokon have put together logistical support on the ground to support a large number of delegates descending on Port Vila. In fact, a large number of colleagues from the Solomon Islands have already started arriving. Errollyn has also put together a range of social events that the participants may choose to engage in while in picturesque Port Vila.
However, it in not too late to register.  Register NOW
In welcoming the delegates to Vanuatu, the Hon Minister of Health Jerome Ludvaune has this to say:
“I would like to welcome all country delegates and Pacific leaders in the area of reproductive health to Vanuatu. We have much work to do to improve reproductive health in the region. Your discussions, deliberations and recommendations will no doubt assist governments in the region including Vanuatu to accelerate progress. I understand this conference has gathered a rich mix of health professionals – including professors, specialists, doctors, midwives, nurses, researchers, public health specialists, program managers and so forth. I am pleased that our own Vanuatu health professionals are actively involved and will benefit from discussions to strengthen our own services and programs in reproductive health and maternity care.”
All accepted abstracts have been published in the June 2017 issue of the Pacific Journal of Reproductive Health.
We look forward to welcoming you all to Port Vila.