Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon
Targets Breast and Cervical Cancer Interventions in sub-Saharan Africa
September 15, 2011
The Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership leverages public and private
investment in global health to combat cervical and breast cancer – two
of the leading causes of cancer death in women – in Sub–Saharan Africa
and Latin America. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon will expand the availability
of vital cervical cancer screening and treatment and breast care
education–especially for women most at risk of getting cervical cancer
in developing nations because they are HIV-positive.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave the keynote address at at the
George W. Bush Institute's two-day summit on global health.
“It’s time to take the next step in building on the progress that has
been made over the past decade in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” said
President George W. Bush. “Many women who seek AIDS services also face
the challenge of cancer. It’s not enough to save a woman from AIDS, if
she is then left to die of another very preventable disease.”
The cervical cancer partnership will leverage the platform and resources
of PEPFAR – established under President Bush and a cornerstone of
President Obama’s Global Health Initiative (GHI) – and will draw from
lessons learned in the significant scaling–up of access to HIV
interventions in recent years. As breast cancer has not been linked to
HIV, PEPFAR funds will not be used for direct support of breast cancer
activities. However, other Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners will leverage
the PEPFAR platforms, using other sources of funding, to support breast
“Investing in women’s health is the right thing to do and the smart
thing to do. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon will save women’s lives and in turn
help families and whole communities. Through this new partnership, the
U.S. Government has committed an additional $10 million, which brings
our total PEPFAR investment to $30 million over the next five years.
Under the leadership of Secretary Clinton and U.S. Global AIDS
Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby, the State Department is proud to
join this important and ambitious partnership to address breast and
cervical cancer globally,” said Ambassador Melanne Verveer,
Ambassador–at–Large Global Women’s Issues.
Women whose immune systems are compromised by HIV are more likely to
develop cervical cancer. Through PEPFAR, there is already screening and
treatment of women at more than 250 clinics in 11 African countries.
Through Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, PEPFAR has committed an additional $10
million, which will bring the total PEPFAR investment to $30 million
over the next five years and ensure more women will be able to be
screened and saved.
“Today the majority of women in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to
critical breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment services and
we must move quickly to address this growing epidemic,” said Ambassador
Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “The
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership builds on our long–standing efforts
in Africa and globally to support innovative models that will save lives
by detecting breast and cervical cancer earlier, when there is still
time to treat it.”
With initial indications of interest, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon expects to
have commitments of up to $75 million across 5 years, which will grow to
include additional participants and services. The goals are to reduce
deaths from cervical cancer by an estimated 25% among women screened and
treated through the initiative, significantly increase access to breast
and cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment programs, and
create innovative models that can be scaled up and used globally.
This public–private initiative includes initial commitments from
founding corporate participants Merck, BD, QIAGEN, Caris Foundation,
Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline and IBM.
rapid expansion of HIV prevention and treatment services over the past
decade has saved millions of lives,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive
Director of UNAIDS. “Uniting the efforts of two vital health movements
means more women around the world will be reached with integrated? not
Infection with HIV weakens the immune system and reduces the body’s
ability to fight infections that may lead to cervical cancer. Cervical
cancer is 4-5 times more common among women living with HIV than women
who are HIV-negative.
There is an urgent need to develop innovative and sustainable solutions
to addressing women’s cancers in developing nations, where these
diseases are often neglected and associated with stigmas that discourage
women from accessing life-saving prevention, care and treatment
programs. By leveraging the significant investments made in HIV
prevention, care and treatment, it is possible to integrate simple,
cost-effective preventions, screening and testing methods and
dramatically reduce mortality and late-stage diagnosis of cervical
cancer, while continuing to increase access to breast care education.