The Haitian Global Health Alliance in support of GHESKIO is working to stop the spread of human papillomavirus (HPV) among adolescent girls in Haiti by providing vaccines to at-risk young women. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection which can result in cervical cancer, a leading cause of cancer-related deaths for women in Haiti. Haiti has the highest rate of cervical cancer in the world (50 times higher than the US), and providing HPV vaccines can save the lives of women across the country.
Haiti has the highest reported incidence of cervical cancer of any country in the world. With an estimated 1,500 deaths annually, cervical cancer in the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in Haitian women (6 times higher than that of the US). With only 4 trained pathologists, just 1 MRI scanner, and a lack of health care infrastructure in a country of 11 million people, most women have never been screened for cervical cancer.
Nearly all cervical cancers are caused by HPV. The HPV vaccine provides long-lasting and highly effective (almost 100%) protection from 9 types of HPV. In partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Health, GHESKIO has a proven track record of success; in a prior study, 94.5% of girls received the necessary follow-up doses of the vaccine. This program will provide adolescent girls with these life-saving vaccines, help stop the spread of HPV, and protect young women against cervical cancer.
Adolescent girls in Haiti are at the highest risk for severe poverty, poor family support structures, and low access to education and health services. By receiving the HPV vaccine, along with other support services provided by GHESKIO, adolescent girls have an opportunity to live a long and healthy life.