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CGH at APEC: HPV Workshopx

, by Ankur Garg

The U.S. National Cancer Institute’s Center for Global Health (NCI/CGH) leads the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cervical Cancer Initiative in conjunction with strong partners throughout the APEC region. NCI/CGH leadership on this initiative aims to increase cancer research and innovation capability in the U.S. and other APEC economies to enhance cancer prevention, detection and treatment. On August 24-25, 2017, NCI/CGH, working in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of State and Health and Human Services, led a Policy Dialogue and Workshop on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer Control during the APEC 2017 meetings in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The primary goal of the 2017 Policy Dialogue and Workshop on HPV and Cervical Cancer Control was to jointly promote the strategies for implementation of the APEC Roadmap to Promote Sustainable Economic Advancement for Women through Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control (2016-2021), a guiding document approved by the APEC Health Working Group in early 2017 with a key goal of enhancing knowledge exchange opportunities. Specifically, this practical workshop focused on current evidence of cost effectiveness and the investment benefits of HPV vaccination programs as well as how to collect and use data from pilot and large-scale programs to inform future decision-making. The interactive sessions included topics such as:

  • Return on investment in adolescent health from HPV vaccine;
  • Effective study design and data collection, including best practices when considering scale-up;
  • Interpretation of results and drawing evidence-based conclusions;
  • Communication and dissemination of results; and
  • Best use results to inform program planning as well as decision- and policy-making.

Four key actions that were identified by the Economies during this dialogue were:

  • Increasing awareness of HPV/cervical cancer and accelerating access to vaccines, diagnosis and treatment options;
  • Fortifying leadership around vaccination programs using science-based decision making;
  • Enhancing work on vaccination confidence, including ensuring proper dissemination and communication with the community; and
  • Garnering political will and champions at all levels in government, civil society, etc. by e.g. making the economic case that prevention of HPV and cervical cancer is one of the best investments in public health.

In addition, NCI/CGH introduced Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) and discussed the upcoming launch of the cervical cancer APEC ECHO® tele-mentoring initiative to (1) provide didactic and case-based learning, (2) promote best practices, (3) create and support communities of learning and practice, and (4) monitor outcomes. Several Economies were very interested in using this platform and we look forward to collaborating with them through the upcoming APEC ECHO® program!

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