Ireland is one of the first countries in the world to publicly declare a commitment to a global initiative to eliminate cervical cancer.
Marking Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2023 (23 to 29 January), a roadmap was published setting Ireland on a path to reach global targets set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – a collaboration of the HSE’s National Screening Service, the National Immunisation Office and the National Cancer Control Programme.
What does elimination mean?
The current rate of cervical cancer in Ireland is around 11 cases per 100,000 people. The WHO defines elimination as fewer than 4 cases per 100,000. Reaching this milestone would make cervical cancer a rare disease and bring us to a point where there are so few cases that it is no longer a public health problem.
What are the targets?
Known as the 90-70-90 targets, the WHO says every country should reach these by 2030 to put the world on course to elimination:
- 90% of girls vaccinated against HPV by age 15
- 70% of women screened by age 35 and again by age 45
- 90% of people identified with cervical disease treated
How do we get there?
We’re working with an international team of experts in Australia to estimate Ireland’s target date for elimination. This will be announced before the end of 2023. Once Ireland’s elimination date is established, an action plan will be developed to increase and improve uptake in the HPV vaccination and screening programmes.
Achieving the targets requires vaccination, screening and treatment services to work together, along with patient advocates and relevant NGOs. This is already happening with the establishment of a Cervical Cancer Elimination Partnership in 2021.
HSE Press Release, Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2023
Ireland’s Roadmap to cervical cancer elimination
Cervical cancer elimination: what does it mean and can Ireland achieve it?
Video: An introduction to cervical cancer elimination in Ireland by Dr Sarah Fitzgibbon
Working together, Ireland can be a world leader in the elimination of cervical cancer
CervicalCheck.ie: Check the register
Video Playlist: Cervical Screening in Ireland
About HPV and the HPV Vaccination Programmes in Ireland
Video: Let’s eliminate cervical cancer, WHO Regional Office for Europe
The Real Health Podcast: from screenings to symptoms - what to know about cervical cancer with Dr Sarah Fitzgibbon