Scotland plans to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030

Scotland has signed up to a WHO strategy to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030, Public Health Minister Joe Fitzpatrick has confirmed.

Scotland has adopted the WHO strategy to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030.
Scotland has adopted the WHO strategy to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030.

The WHO plan launched on Tuesday states that all countries should achieve 90 per cent coverage with HPV vaccination, 70 per cent screening and 90 per cent access to treatment for cervical pre-cancer and cervical cancer.

Uptake of the HPV vaccine in Scotland is currently at 85 per cent for both doses.

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“Uptake of our HPV vaccination programme is already high, and a recent study in the BMJ showed that the levels of cancer-causing HPV in Scotland had dropped by almost 90 per cent in young women, demonstrating the significant and continued benefits,” said Mr FitzPatrick.

“However, the vaccine does not protect against all HPV strains that may cause cervical cancer, and it is important that women continue to take up the invitation for their regular screening test. In March we introduced HPV testing as our primary test for cervical cancer – the test is offered to all women aged 25-64.

“We will continue to work alongside our key partners, such as Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Cancer Research UK, to carry on our efforts in reducing the incidence of cervical cancer among women with the aim of eliminating it over the next decade in Scotland.”

In August 2020, the World Health Assembly passed a resolution calling for elimination of cervical cancer and adopting a strategy to put this in place.

The HPV vaccine is offered to boys and girls in S1.

Uptake currently exceeds 90 per cent for the first dose by the end of S3.

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