Situational Analysis of Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control in the Caribbean, Results from a 2013 assessment of country, policies and services for HPV vaccination, cervical cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment.
This report was prepared by Damali Martin1 , Silvana Luciani and Elisa Prieto, with input from Maisha Hutton and Tomo Kanda. The authors wish to thank the following individuals who provided information used in this report: Grüngberg Antoon, Marie Louise Baker, Natalia Largaespada Beer, Homer Bloomfield, Vikash Chatrani, Tamu Davidson, Angela C Desabaye, Hilda Dunsmmore, Petrinella Edwards, Maria Henry, Laura Tucker Longsworth, Fiona llegall, Naomi D Prince, Gerty Surena, Rhonda Simmons, and Sook Lee Yin. The Ministries of Health of non-Latin Caribbean countries were an active partner in providing data relevant for this report. The Healthy Caribbean Coalition was a major partner in the data collection process working in concert with their Caribbean Cancer NGO membership, who were fully engaged and worked with the Ministry of Health partners.
Cervical cancer remains a significant public health concern in the Caribbean where it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women. This report synthesizes the available information on cervical cancer incidence, mortality and HPV prevalence in the non-Latin Caribbean countries, as well as summarizes the results of a survey of national cervical cancer program managers regarding the current capacity and status of cervical cancer programs.
Among the countries in the non-Latin Caribbean, all have established cervical cancer screening, based on cytology as part of public health programs, and 3 countries have already introduced HPV vaccines into their national immunization programs. Information is lacking in most countries, however on the screening coverage and proportion of women with abnormal screening test results receiving follow up diagnosis and treatment, which are key indicators for program effectiveness. Furthermore, limitations in health human resources and infrastructure, especially for radiotherapy, present challenges to improving program effectiveness. Despite these limitations, cervical cancer program managers from Ministries of Health report that there exists a high political interest in addressing cervical cancer and that it was feasible their government will provide funding to strengthen screening services and introduce HPV vaccines in the near future. Civil society organizations, including the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, are playing an important role in the Caribbean to raise public awareness and participation in screening programs and advocate for more government investments for cervical cancer prevention and control. Read the full report here