In the Philippines, millions are at risk of the cancer of the cervix. Likely to cause death when diagnosed late, not only lives are lost - but mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and friends.
To prevent this, the Cervical Cancer Prevention Network, otherwise known as CECAP, dedicates its efforts to empower Filipino women by raising awareness on cervical cancer, providing them with the necessary knowledge and armamentarium to battle, and win against the disease.
Since its founding in 2006, CECAP has come a long way to accomplish its advocacy. While the journey is far from done, CECAP, through partnership with Jhpiego affiliate of Johns Hopkin, Department of Health and UP-PGH, has initiated or taken part of noteworthy campaigns, events, and efforts.
It has also established sites on different localities around the Philippines wherein the CECAP framework is being implemented.
"Bakit ako bababa, eh wala naman akong nararamdaman."
Cervical cancer can be a threat to any woman. With a growing population of 101 million as of 2015, and an estimated 107 million by the end of 2018, the Philippines has 49,909,341 females; 32,017,962 are 15 to 64-year-olds who may contract HPV and develop cervical cancer.
Meanwhile, 14,099,388 are women aged 30-49 years old, the target age for screening as recommended by the WHO. However, because of the wrong notion that check-ups are unnecessary if one is not sick, women, especially those from low-income families and live in far-flung areas, become victims of this disease.
On one of CECAP's outreach programs, a vendor from the mountains came down to get screened after she was encouraged by the local government. When asked why she doesn't avail of check-ups, she said "Bakit ako bababa, eh wala naman akong nararamdaman."
CECAP wants to build an inclusive community where the issue of cervical cancer is freely discussed, and voices of women from different walks of life are heard.
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