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Impact of scaled up human papillomavirus vaccination and cervical screening and the potential for global elimination of cervical cancer in 181 countries, 2020–99: a modelling study


Cervical screening and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination have been implemented in most high-income countries; however, coverage is low in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). In 2018, the Director-General of WHO announced a call to action for the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem. WHO has called for global action to scale-up vaccination, screening, and treatment of precancer, early detection and prompt treatment of early invasive cancers, and palliative care. An elimination threshold in terms of cervical cancer incidence has not yet been defined, but an absolute rate of cervical cancer incidence could be chosen for such a threshold. In this study, we aimed to quantify the potential cumulative effect of scaled up global vaccination and screening coverage on the number of cervical cancer cases averted over the 50 years from 2020 to 2069, and to predict outcomes beyond 2070 to identify the earliest years by which cervical cancer rates could drop below two absolute levels that could be considered as possible elimination thresholds—the rare cancer threshold (six new cases per 100 000 women per year, which has been observed in only a few countries), and a lower threshold of four new cases per 100 000 women per year.