Finding a PATH to Cervical Health in the Developing World January 22, 2015 By Caitlin Bradford Leave a Comment We are now more than midway through Cervical Health Awareness Month. So far, we have reviewed cervical health issues such as Gardasil 9 and how it can help protect against more strains of HPV than any other vaccine on the market. We have also taken a look at what the WHO advises regarding vaccination, screening and cancer prevention. Now, we turn to PATH, a group that is trying to help individuals and governments provide care for and prevent the spread of cervical cancers. Since its beginnings in 1977, when PATH had only three staff members and a dream, the group has partnered with global health leaders in order to find affordable and effective solutions for HPV screening and vaccinations. Through these screenings the group hopes to decrease the number of deaths due to cervical and other related cancers and help improve women’s health throughout the world. One of PATH’s major focuses has been getting screenings to areas that could not otherwise offer this medical service (not entirely unlike Matternet and Project C.U.R.E). Through a partnership with QIAGEN, a German molecular diagnostics company, careHPVTM was developed, and this test provides a faster, more cost effective, and less technically advanced way of testing for cancer-causing HPV variants than the conventional Pap test. PATH is also working with another company on developing a similar easy-to-use test that will check for cancerous cells and not just the HPV infection. But, screening is a secondary step, and it is not sufficient to stop the spread of the human papillomavirus that causes so many of these cancers. Since 2006, PATH has been working with health ministries throughout the world in order to lay the groundwork for effective HPV vaccination campaigns. PATH has focused on training healthcare professionals, women’s groups and community leaders on how to accurately respond to questions and objections to vaccination as well as helping health ministries and other groups to plan vaccination drives. PATH understands that vaccination and screening may not stop all forms of cervical and other related cancers, but the organization hopes to seriously reduce the number of cases to a manageable level throughout the world. As a leader in health innovation, PATH hopes to prevent what for many will become a deadly disease through innovation, collaboration and community engagement. Funded by foundations, governments, multilateral organizations, corporations and individuals, the organization maintains high standards of efficiency and transparency in hopes of providing those in need with potentially life-saving services. For more information on PATH and their campaign against cervical cancers, visit the group’s website. To find out more about HPV and the HPV vaccination visit Passport Health’s page on the subject. What plans do you think would be best for increasing HPV vaccine participation? Comment here or on the Passport Health Facebook page with your ideas!