July 17, 2024

Bicol Express News

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Women Workers for Health Empowerment Network (WHEN) launches “Stronger Together than Cancer”: A Cervical Cancer Elimination in the Workplace Campaign

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Quezon City – The Women Workers for Health Empowerment Network (WHEN), in partnership with Jhpiego through its Centralized Laboratory Model for HPV Screening (CLAMS) Project, Quezon City Health Department, Department of Health, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and partners, successfully launched the Cervical Cancer Elimination (CCE) in the Workplace Campaign on March 3, 2024, at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City.

The event, themed “Stronger Together than Cancer,” aims to create awareness of the urgent issue of cervical cancer, which claims the lives of 11 Filipino women daily. This initiative aligns with DOLE’s workplace cancer prevention guidelines and contributes to DOH’s national cancer control program, focusing on improving screening coverage and providing CCE-related information and services in the workplace.

In a press conference held during the launch, Dr. Julie Caguiat, WHEN Convenor, emphasized that this campaign is a significant milestone for our community. “By collaborating with different community partners and women workers, we aim to create a healthier workplace and contribute to the broader effort of eliminating cervical cancer. Prevention starts by empowering women to take charge of their health, and together, we can make a difference,” she said.

Jacq Ruiz, WHEN Spokesperson, remarked, “Today marks the beginning of a transformative journey as WHEN joins hands with women to create empowered communities. Through collective efforts, we strive to enhance health empowerment for women workers, ensuring they have the tools and knowledge to protect themselves and their communities.”

“The Stronger Together than Cancer campaign will popularize women-led and worker-led initiatives for improved sexual and reproductive health outcomes, safer and healthier workplaces, and provide crucial information and services to women workers facing access challenges,” added Dr. Julie Caguiat, WHEN Convenor.

The launch also conducted a comprehensive free screening event using the newest technology of HPV DNA through self-collection with the support of ROCHE. This momentous event introduces HPV DNA testing as a secondary prevention strategy, aiming to simplify cervical cancer screening for women.

“Since 2021, Jhpiego has worked closely with DOH, local government health offices, the private sector, and civil society organizations, introducing innovative approaches like HPV DNA testing through self-collection. Regular cervical cancer screening is not just a health measure; it is an act of empowerment and self-care. By taking charge of your health, you contribute to the well-being of your community and future generations. This aligns with WHO’s strategy to eliminate cervical cancer globally by 2030,” said Dr. Ingrid Magnata, Jhpiego Country Program Manager.

“Jhpiego is committed to promoting women’s health globally. The Cervical Cancer Elimination in the Workplace Campaign is a testament to that commitment. Together with our partners, we aim to create a workplace where every woman’s health is a priority,” she added.

The event also featured key discussions on Filipino working women’s challenges, the burden of cervical cancer in the Philippines, ongoing CCE initiatives, and the establishment of a workplace cancer control program. A commitment signing and a Q&A session signaled united efforts towards the cause, recognizing women’s critical role in achieving safe, healthy workplaces, and marked a significant step towards preventing and treating cervical cancer.