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Compared to Western Europe, cervical cancer rates are substantially higher in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA), where some 40,000 women develop and about 20,000 women die from this disease every year. The principal reason for this disparity is the lack of effective organized cervical cancer prevention programmes in these countries. Well-organized cervical screening programmes can reduce cervical cancer incidence and mortality by up to 80 per cent, while combining cervical screening with HPV vaccination could produce reductions of up to 90 per cent. However, these benefits will only be realized by well-organized programmes with high coverage (75 per cent or more) of the target population and strict quality assurance of all health services required to deliver the programmes.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN agency leading on cervical cancer prevention, undertakes various activities at the global, regional and country levels to support the implementation of cervical cancer prevention policies and programmes. In support of this objective, the UNFPA published Comprehensive Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control: Programme Guidance for Countries, which led to cervical cancer prevention being included in the UNFPA EECA Regional Programme for 2014-2017, as well as in the respective country programmes for the UNFPA Country Offices in this region.

To continue this process of facilitating cervical cancer prevention in the EECA region, this Roadmap for the Implementation of Organized Cervical Cancer Screening Programmes in the UNFPA Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region was prepared to summarize the overall process for developing plans to implement organized cervical screening programmes and provide specific details about the key actions that need to be undertaken.