Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Awards Additional Grants to Promote Cervical Cancer Screenings and Services for Women Living with HIV in Tanzania

Part of three-year, $1.2 million commitment by Foundation’s Secure
the Future® initiative to help Pink Ribbon
Red Ribbon™ raise awareness and prevent cervical cancer deaths

Squibb Foundation
today announced four new grants awarded through
its landmark Secure the Future initiative that will strengthen
community-based services addressing cervical cancer in Tanzania, where
women living with HIV are more likely to die from cervical cancer than

The grants will support the ongoing work of four members of the
Coalition for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer in Tanzania: Mbeya
HIV/AIDS Network, Medical Women’s Association of Tanzania, Tanzania
Marketing and Communications and Tanzania Youth Alliance. Secure the
and the Tanzania coalition are collaborating with Pink Ribbon
Red Ribbon to help communities in the East African country prevent
cervical cancer by raising awareness and encouraging screening to
improve early cervical cancer detection and treatment programs. Pink
Ribbon Red Ribbon is affiliated with the George W. Bush Institute.

The Foundation has committed $1.2 million over three years to support
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s work in Tanzania and also supports similar work
in Swaziland and Ethiopia.

“Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in women in
sub-Saharan Africa,” says John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Foundation. “Women in Tanzania are nearly three times more likely to
suffer from cervical cancer than women living in other parts of the
world. Tragically, four of every five women diagnosed with cervical
cancer in Tanzania die within five years of their diagnosis because the
cancer is detected at an advanced stage or because they have limited
access to care.”

The grants awarded by the Foundation directly address both of these
problems by promoting awareness and early detection and by building
health care system capacity in rural communities:

  • Mbeya HIV/AIDS Network will help raise community awareness
    about cervical and breast cancer screening, treatment and prevention
    services and build the capacity of community volunteers to address the
    needs of women living in the Chunya, Mbarali and Momba districts of
    Mbeya. Mbeya will leverage its existing infrastructure for HIV/AIDS,
    including prevention intervention and peer education, counseling and
    testing, and home-based care.
  • Medical Women’s Association of Tanzania will expand its
    cervical and breast cancer screening campaigns from eight regions to
    12 – adding Mwanza, Mara, Mbeya and Iringa – and build the capacity of
    health care providers while advocating for increased government
    support for cervical and breast cancer prevention and early detection
    services at the district, region and national levels.
  • Tanzania Youth Alliance (TAYOA) will use its national cervical
    cancer helpline, the government’s SMS short message services and a
    network of community leaders to help women in the Ilemela, Kwinba,
    Magu, Sengerema and Ukerewe districts in Mwanza connect with health
    centers, women’s groups and others who are working to prevent cervical
    cancer mortality. TAYAO also collaborates with Airtel Tanzania on
    media campaigns to raise awareness, inform and encourage community
    members to access to cancer screening services and early detection.
  • Tanzania Marketing and Communications (T-Marc) will expand its
    ongoing work with Secure the Future to promote public awareness
    about cervical cancer prevention, detection and treatment in Iringa to
    include 23 wards in the Kilolo district, 12 wards in the Mufindi
    district and 19 villages across Iringa. T-Marc will build capacity and
    strengthen three CBOs to advocate for, implement, and sustain cervical
    cancer community mobilization and demand creation interventions.

About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation helps reduce health disparities by
strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating
medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing
communities in the fight against disease.

The Foundation’s Secure the Future initiative harnesses and
strengthens community-based resources and builds capacity to improve the
effectiveness and sustainability of community outreach programs in order
to address HIV. Secure the Future also is collaborating with
prestigious partners such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the
President’s Emergency Program on AIDS Relief and Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon,
among others, to leverage its legacy and infrastructure to help HIV
patients who are co-infected with tuberculosis or who may be at risk of
developing cervical or breast cancers.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
Frederick J.
Egenolf, 609-252-4875