The International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) continues to focus on programs and strong partnerships, with a focus on quality clinical services, affordable technology development, clinical translation, effective provider training, and continued engagement. This is key to global scale-up of successful cervical cancer prevention programs.  

IGCS is honored to start collaborating with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).  

Working with Dr. Mauricio Maza, Regional Advisor for cancer prevention and control at PAHO/WHO on the specifics of the work plan, together we will determine where we will next expand clinical training in Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Mara said “IGCS members contribute a wide range of clinical and technical expertise to develop effective courses and strategies for the training, education, and mentoring of doctors and nurses who provide cervical cancer prevention services. With the IGCS and PAHO working in harmony, we will be able to reach more countries within our region with these programs, adapting them to the local needs and requests of the PAHO Member States.” 

IGCS through its current programs is very well positioned to establish a workplan that will begin by focusing efforts in the region on the World Health Organization’s global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem by 2030. The primary objective of this powerful collaboration is to strengthen knowledge, formally train clinicians and researchers, and build capacity of Latin American and Caribbean professionals and/or organizations in the prevention, screening, diagnoses, and treatment of cervical cancer and gynecologic malignancies.  

Working with PAHO, the IGCS will have improved access to stakeholders in these regions. The first phase of the work plan will include the training of specialists in colposcopy and the diagnoses and management of preinvasive cervical disease. We will utilize the existing IGCS Preinvasive Disease Training Curriculum which couples online learning with hands-on training.  

The eventual goal is to equip and build a workforce of local specialists that will have the knowledge and capacity to ensure the training of future generations of clinicians. For this type of training to be sustainable, the responsibility, expertise, and delivery should eventually shift to local experts. IGCS training can transition to a train-the-trainer model and provide support and guidance to local experts.  

In the spirit of “thinking big” in 2023 and beyond, the IGCS-PAHO capacity building program is a major movement towards our larger goals to close the care gap and eliminate cervical cancer. 

Keiichi Fujiwara, MD, PhD
IGCS President

Mary Eiken, MS