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Stakeholders convene in Bengaluru to build a roadmap for strengthening cervical cancer screening in Karnataka

  • A policy consultation was organized by the Government of Karnataka, Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services and non-profit organization FIND, to discuss opportunities to strengthen cervical cancer screening in the state.
  • Hon’ble Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Dinesh Gundu Rao inaugurated the event.
Stakeholders convene in Bengaluru to build a roadmap for strengthening cervical cancer screening in Karnataka.
Bengaluru, India - 06/10/2023.

The Government of Karnataka, Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services and FIND organized a policy consultation to engage with key stakeholders on identifying strategies to strengthen screening for cervical cancer in Karnataka.

The consultation was inaugurated by Mr Dinesh Gundu Rao, the Hon’ble Minister for Health and Family Welfare, who highlighted Karnataka’s commitment to prioritizing cervical cancer elimination as a model for the country.

Mr Rao said: “Cervical cancer elimination is a priority for Karnataka. Effective screening, vaccination and early treatment will be critical in helping us to achieve this goal. We are committed to building a roadmap to end the disease in Karnataka and are evaluating innovative strategies to ensure expanded access to screening for all women over 30 years, and universal vaccination for girls aged 9–14 years of age.”

During the discussions, the introduction of World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended high-performance HPV DNA tests, complemented by self-collection of samples to ensure effective screening, were emphasized as critical components of a robust cervical cancer elimination strategy.

The meeting was made possible with the support of Roche Diagnostics. Dr Thilo Brenner, APAC Sub-Region 1 Head (India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, and the Philippines), Roche Diagnostics, said: “Roche is committed to the transformation of healthcare, which entails expanding access to diagnostics. We are focused on bridging gaps in women’s health, particularly cervical cancer, to empower them to take charge of their health and well-being. By educating women and expanding access to HPV screening, we aim to drive systemic and behavioural change in the management of cervical cancer.”

Dr Sanjay Sarin, Vice President Access at FIND, said: “One woman dies every 2 minutes from cervical cancer, yet it is a preventable and curable disease. The WHO strategy for cervical cancer elimination calls for at least 70% of women to be screened for cervical cancer using a high-performance HPV test by the time they are 35 years old, and again by age 45. We welcome the Government’s commitment to accelerate progress towards these targets, and the roadmap developed in Karnataka is a critical step towards that goal that will provide a model for the country. We continue to pledge our support and diagnostic expertise to protect women and girls by beating this deadly disease.”

Other stakeholders in attendance included members of the legislative assembly, senior leadership from the Department of Health and Family Welfare, clinicians and gynaecologists, technical experts, civil society organizations, research and academic institutions, private sector organizations and survivor champions.

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FIND accelerates equitable access to reliable diagnosis around the world. We are working to close critical testing gaps that leave people at risk from preventable and treatable illnesses, enable effective disease surveillance, and build sustainable, resilient health systems. In partnership with countries, WHO and other global health agencies, we are driving progress towards global health security and universal health coverage. We are a WHO Collaborating Centre for Laboratory Strengthening and Diagnostic Technology Evaluation. For more information, please visit