NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation today announced four new grants awarded through its landmark Secure the Future initiative that will strengthen community-based services addressing cervical cancer in Tanzania, where women living with HIV are more likely to die from cervical cancer than AIDS.
The grants will support the ongoing work of four members of the Coalition for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer in Tanzania: Mbeya HIV/AIDS Network, Medical Women’s Association of Tanzania, Tanzania Marketing and Communications and Tanzania Youth Alliance. Secure the Future and the Tanzania coalition are collaborating with Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon to help communities in the East African country prevent cervical cancer by raising awareness and encouraging screening to improve early cervical cancer detection and treatment programs. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is affiliated with the George W. Bush Institute.
The Foundation has committed $1.2 million over three years to support Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s work in Tanzania and also supports similar work in Swaziland and Ethiopia.
“Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in women in sub-Saharan Africa,” says John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “Women in Tanzania are nearly three times more likely to suffer from cervical cancer than women living in other parts of the world. Tragically, four of every five women diagnosed with cervical cancer in Tanzania die within five years of their diagnosis because the cancer is detected at an advanced stage or because they have limited access to care.”
The grants awarded by the Foundation directly address both of these problems by promoting awareness and early detection and by building health care system capacity in rural communities:
- Mbeya HIV/AIDS Network will help raise community awareness about cervical and breast cancer screening, treatment and prevention services and build the capacity of community volunteers to address the needs of women living in the Chunya, Mbarali and Momba districts of Mbeya. Mbeya will leverage its existing infrastructure for HIV/AIDS, including prevention intervention and peer education, counseling and testing, and home-based care.
- Medical Women’s Association of Tanzania will expand its cervical and breast cancer screening campaigns from eight regions to 12 – adding Mwanza, Mara, Mbeya and Iringa – and build the capacity of health care providers while advocating for increased government support for cervical and breast cancer prevention and early detection services at the district, region and national levels.
- Tanzania Youth Alliance (TAYOA) will use its national cervical cancer helpline, the government’s SMS short message services and a network of community leaders to help women in the Ilemela, Kwinba, Magu, Sengerema and Ukerewe districts in Mwanza connect with health centers, women’s groups and others who are working to prevent cervical cancer mortality. TAYAO also collaborates with Airtel Tanzania on media campaigns to raise awareness, inform and encourage community members to access to cancer screening services and early detection.
- Tanzania Marketing and Communications (T-Marc) will expand its ongoing work with Secure the Future to promote public awareness about cervical cancer prevention, detection and treatment in Iringa to include 23 wards in the Kilolo district, 12 wards in the Mufindi district and 19 villages across Iringa. T-Marc will build capacity and strengthen three CBOs to advocate for, implement, and sustain cervical cancer community mobilization and demand creation interventions.
About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation helps reduce health disparities by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease.
The Foundation’s Secure the Future initiative harnesses and strengthens community-based resources and builds capacity to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of community outreach programs in order to address HIV. Secure the Future also is collaborating with prestigious partners such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the President's Emergency Program on AIDS Relief and Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, among others, to leverage its legacy and infrastructure to help HIV patients who are co-infected with tuberculosis or who may be at risk of developing cervical or breast cancers.