Australian High Commission
Solomon Islands

Australian Cervical Cancer Awareness Week

17 November 2016

                                                               Australian Cervical Cancer Awareness Week

Last week marked Cervical Cancer Awareness Week in Australia (7-13 November).

Cervical Cancer Awareness Week seeks to raise awareness about cervical cancer, and generate discussion about cervical health.

Cervical cancer can have an enormously detrimental impact on families and communities.

In Solomon Islands, cervical cancer negatively affects dozens of women every year. It was the most common cancer seen at the National Referral Hospital in 2015, with 51 cases presenting.

‘Australia is proud to support Solomon Islands to prevent and address cervical cancer,’ said Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne.

‘The health and wellbeing of Solomon Islanders is a key priority for Australia. Our support for efforts to combat cervical cancer is part of a substantial package of assistance for the Solomon Islands health system.’

Australia has supported the Ministry of Health and Medical Services’ landmark rollout of the first phase of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine for young girls, which protects them against cervical cancer. Over 7,000 girls in Honiara and Isabel Province have been immunised to date.

Australia is also funding Family Planning New South Wales to pilot a new approach to cervical screening and treatment of pre-cancerous cervical lesions. This pilot is expected to reach up to 400 women in Honiara and the Guadalcanal Plains.

Australia has committed to provide up to AU$66 million in assistance to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services over four years under our Health Sector Support Program Phase III. This assistance supports the entire Solomon Islands health system, including by building health clinics, procuring medicines and medical dressings, and supporting outreach for those in the most remote parts of Solomon Islands.