Where are they now? Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation

Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation

Screening a woman, even just once, can reduce the possibility of contracting cervical cancer, which is often a death sentence in a developing country.

With a $29,000 grant from 100 Women in 2016, the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation (ACCF) collaborated with the local health office in Hau Giang, Vietnam to screen approximately 5,000 women and treated 300 women identified as having cervical abnormalities. The chances of these women developing terminal cervical cancer without treatment is high, with up to 100 deaths prevented. Thousands of schoolgirls and young women also received information on awareness and prevention of cervical cancer.

Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation (ACCF) is committed to achieving a world free from cervical cancer. A vision that is entirely possible in Australia by as early as 2028, if primary and secondary prevention measures such as HPV vaccination and cervical screening remain steadfast. Currently, almost 45% of eligible Australian women are not screening as frequently as recommended. An alarming statistic for Australian women when over 70% of cervical cancers occur in those who have either never screened or have not screened for some time.

ACCF works both in Australia and overseas, where it has facilitated thousands of vaccinations for girls and boys (in Bhutan) and screenings for many thousands of women in places including Nepal, Bhutan, Vietnam, The Philippines, PNG, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands. Through strong partnerships with local Departments of Health and NGOs, the ACCF has saved countless lives.

In Vietnam, the rate of women presenting with vaginal infections and cervical cell abnormalities is approximately nine times higher than in Australia and 1 in 100 Vietnamese women could potentially die from cervical cancer.

For every woman who does not go on to develop terminal cervical cancer, benefits extend far beyond the family. In countries such as Vietnam, women are often the mainstay of the family and contribute enormously in the local economy. Losing a mother to cervical cancer impacts heavily on the family, often the oldest daughter will have to leave school to look after younger siblings, interrupting studies, and any chance of further education. Providing cervical screening is a huge cost benefit to the Health System/National Economy.

There are many ways for 100 Women members to support the work of ACCF. Volunteers help the ACCF extend their networks, provide information and support services and implement education programs and fundraising campaigns.

Visit https://accf.org.au/get-involved/ for more information on how to get involved.

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