By Peer Schatz, CEO of QIAGEN
In every country, community, business, and family, girls and women are an economic force. This is especially true in the developing world, where women are the anchor of the family and community and provide the majority of labor and transportation for cultivation and production. With the tremendous loads they carry already, imagine being able to lift the burden of cervical cancer from women in the developing world. Out of 250,000 women that die each year from cervical cancer — the second-most common cancer in the world — about 80 percent of these occur in the developing world, This vision to lift the burden of cervical cancer from women in the developing world is within reach today, if we all work together to ensure that women and girls become a global priority. The health and empowerment of women form the cornerstone of a healthy society.
QIAGEN is proud to be part of Women Deliver and is committed to making girls’ and women’s health a global priority. We are a global company whose mission is to improve health by making advanced molecular diagnostic testing technology and tools available and accessible. In particular, we have a strong focus on eliminating cervical cancer worldwide by expanding access to testing for “high-risk” types of HPV - human papillomavirus, the cause of cervical cancer. With HPV testing, healthcare professionals can now identify women who are most at risk – allowing clinicians to intervene early, before cancer develops. Our vision at QIAGEN is to deliver the power of the new molecular technologies to address needs in healthcare across the globe. As such our vision is to help to eliminate cervical cancer for all women, regardless of their geographic location or income. Cervical cancer is preventable, and women should not be dying needlessly.
The theme for Women Deliver is “delivering solutions for women and girls”. At QIAGEN, we believe that delivering the right solutions requires full commitment, engagement and participation from a broad range of stakeholders including advocates, academics, NGOs, governments and corporate partners. The Women Deliver conference is an embodiment of inclusivity, bringing together those from around the world who are dedicated to making a difference. As a member of the corporate world, QIAGEN recognizes the tremendous opportunity we have to enable empowerment of women in a number of ways – but specifically through expanded access to cervical cancer screening to prevent cervical cancer. We are committed to making health technologies accessible to the people who truly need them.
QIAGENcares & the careHPV test
Through our QIAGENcares program, I’m proud to say that we have made significant strides and created a very powerful platform to pursue our vision. As part of QIAGENcares, we will be donating one million HPV tests to developing countries over the next five years. In collaboration with Merck, we have committed to supporting comprehensive cervical cancer prevention strategies that bring both HPV vaccination and HPV screening to girls and women in low income, GAVI eligible countries. Additionally, we have provided HPV tests to women’s hospitals in China, and have recently sponsored cervical cancer screening mobile clinics in Kolkata, India.
To ensure that HPV testing is practical, effective, and affordable for women in all regions of the world, QIAGEN is collaborating with PATH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop an adapted version of its HPV test — to be called the careHPV Test — for public-health programs in low-resource, developing countries. The careHPV Test, currently in development, can be performed without electricity or running water and offers the ability to identify women at highest risk of having or developing cervical cancer in a matter of hours — a critical characteristic for women traveling to clinics from isolated villages and for those women who may need to be treated the same day.
Partnership & Collaboration
Our role in developing technology and new diagnostic tests is only one piece of the puzzle. Establishing strong partnerships to ensure the delivery of health services and appropriate treatment is intimately tied to successful collaboration with experienced NGOs, government leaders, health professionals, and the girls and women themselves. It is through these collaborations that we can achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
We know that the MDGs will not be achieved without investing in women. QIAGEN technologies can make a tremendous difference to women everywhere. We invest in women by developing HPV DNA testing solutions that will be made available, accessible and affordable to women in every region of the world. Women Deliver is an important platform that gives us the opportunity to meet face-to-face with so many others involved in our shared mission to deliver solutions for women. By participating, we can demonstrate our commitment to making women’s health a global priority. Each of us at the conference can make a difference in unique, but equally meaningful, ways. We welcome this challenge, and look forward to further partnerships and a successful and fruitful Women Deliver conference.
CEO of QIAGEN
Corporate Partner: The Priority of Partnerships in Delivering Solutions for Cervical Cancer
May 5th, 2010
By Peer Schatz, CEO of QIAGEN