USAID Launches Cancer Early Detection Program in Georgia

For Immediate Release

Thursday, March 12, 2009
USAID Press Office
202-712-4320

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is launching a unique partnership to reduce illnesses and deaths caused by cervical and breast cancers in the country of Georgia. The program, called "Survive" includes numerous USAID partners, including the U.S. Embassy in Georgia, the JSI Research and Training Institute, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Georgian Pharmaceutical Company, International Women's Association, the Georgian insurance company IRAO, HSBC Bank, and BP Georgia.

"Survive's focus on women's right to health, right to quality care and freedom from stigma fits perfectly with the timing of International Women's Day," said Ken Yamashita, Acting Administrator for the Europe and Eurasia Bureau. "This partnership values women as productive contributors to society and the economy and targets some of their primary health problems."

The incidence of cervical and breast cancers, a major cause of illness and death among adult Georgian women, has risen dramatically over the last decade. Cervical cancer has one of the greatest potentials for early detection and cure, however in Georgia there is a two-fold increase in untreated cases detected in late stages of the disease. Similar statistics exist for breast cancer. Although there are almost twice as many detected cases in North America as in Georgia, only one fifth of these cases are fatal compared to nearly half in Georgia. The disproportionate mortality risk for Georgian women is attributable, in large part, to delayed detection of the disease.

As a result of this unique partnership of NGOs, businesses, foundations and government entities, primary health care providers will take on a key role in educating clients and the public about cervical and breast cancers. Additionally, Georgian women will be empowered to seek out screening and to adopt pro-active health seeking behaviors about risk factors, symptoms and the benefits of early detection.

For more information about USAID and its programs, visit www.usaid.gov.

Last updated: May 31, 2012

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