A shared commitment to improving women's health in Peru—and the tools to succeed
In Peru, PATH works with national leaders, global partners, and communities to bring attention to breast and cervical cancer and help women and health workers understand and manage these diseases.
Although cancer affects millions of women worldwide, the burden is particularly devastating in low- and middle-income countries, including Peru.
Peru’s leaders are committed to turning the tide. Yet despite economic growth, the country still faces vast discrepancies in wealth and access to services. For women in rural, low-income communities, services are often unavailable, far away, or too expensive. These gaps, together with stigma, fear, and a lack of information, can make cancer seem insurmountable.
Since 2006, we have worked with local and global partners to overcome these barriers. Our efforts are empowering people throughout Peru’s health system—from women to health care workers to community volunteers—with the tools and approaches needed to protect women’s health and save lives.
Our health focus areas
Breast cancer: Since 2011, PATH has collaborated with partners on a community-based breast health program that reaches low-income women through community awareness, locally available screening, and referrals. To help women navigate the health system, we developed a model that trains volunteers to support them. Now, we are helping to expand these programs in Peru and other countries. We are also strengthening the health systems that enable care, from supporting a new Peruvian center for breast health excellence to improving data collection and use.
Cervical cancer: PATH works with Peru’s Ministry of Health and other partners to improve prevention, screening, and treatment of cervical cancer. We worked together to determine how to reach young girls with vaccines against human papillomavirus, the cause of most cervical cancers. We also helped establish a center of excellence for cervical cancer prevention at the Peruvian National Cancer Institute. The center has trained thousands of health providers to use an affordable approach, called visual inspection with acetic acid, to identify precancerous lesions and to remove the lesions before they become dangerous.
Reproductive health supplies: PATH’s Peru office is also the regional headquarters for the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC). RHSC is a global partnership of public, private, and nongovernmental organizations dedicated to ensuring that people in low- and middle-income countries can access and use affordable, high-quality reproductive health supplies.
Photo: Tara Hayes Constant.