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Cervical cancer kills more than 288,000 women each year worldwide and disproportionately affects the poorest, most vulnerable women. At least 80 percent of cervical cancer deaths occur in developing countries, with most occurring in the poorest regions - South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and parts of Latin America.

Health care providers in developing countries regularly see women with advanced, incurable cervical cancer. At this late stage, there is little they can do to save women's lives. Even drugs designed to ease cancer pain often are unavailable. Yet cervical cancer can be readily prevented, even in women at high risk for the disease, through screening and treatment using relatively simple technologies. When precancerous changes in cervical tissue are found and the abnormal tissue successfully treated, a woman will not develop cancer.

In 1999, with generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, five international agencies launched a major new effort to prevent cervical cancer worldwide. This group of organizations, the Alliance for Cervical Cancer Prevention, is working to clarify, promote, and implement strategies for preventing cervical cancer in developing countries.

The Alliance consists of five partner organizations, brought together by their capabilities and experience in global cervical cancer prevention.

EngenderHealth is one of the largest nonprofit organizations dedicated to making reproductive health care accessible to women and men around the world. It works globally to improve the lives of individuals by making reproductive health services safe, available, and sustainable.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is an affiliated research center of the World Health Organization. IARC's mission is to coordinate and conduct research on the causes of human cancer, the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and to develop scientific strategies for cancer control.

The JHPIEGO is a not profit corporation affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. Through advocacy, education, and performance improvement, JHPIEGO helps host-country health policymakers, educators, and service providers increase access and reduce barriers to quality reproductive health services.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is an international public health agency with more than 90 years of experience in working to improve health and living standards of the countries of the Americas. It serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization.

PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health) is an international, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization dedicated to improving health, especially the health of women and children.

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