Recommendations for cervical cancer prevention in Latin America and the Caribbean

Vaccine. 2008 Aug 19;26 Suppl 11:L96-L107. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.05.062.


Cervical cancer control in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region has been, and remains, a priority and a major public health challenge. It also provides the opportunity for the advancement of research into novel cervical cancer preventative tools including the use of prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, HPV-based screening options and low technology visual inspection methods. The challenges for prevention are compounded because cervical cancer cases continue to cluster in the low socio-economic and rural populations, thus requiring strong political and social commitments to ensure effective implementation in the region. Although cytology-based screening activities exist in the majority of LAC countries, these have been largely based on opportunistic screening services. Evaluation of the impact of screening is often focused on assessing coverage of the population with Pap smears. However, regardless of the chosen technology a screening program requires a complex set of activities that must also be of high quality such us ensuring access of the underserved populations to the program, maintaining routine quality controls of the screening procedures and organizing the proper follow-up of women with abnormal screening results. The cost of the HPV vaccine and of the delivery infrastructure required is currently a significant obstacle for widespread introduction that will require collaborative resolve between public health organizations, governments and vaccine manufacturers. It is important to ensure that HPV vaccines are made available to the wider public, not only to those who can afford it. This monograph and the associated regional reports have carefully identified and discussed the many challenges and opportunities to be considered for policy decisions, in particular the complex interplay between vaccination strategies and subsequent screening requirements. An advanced cost-benefit analysis, using models calibrated to specific countries in the region, presents the range of options and relative costs thus providing evidence-based scientific guidance to governments and providers in the context of a significant and systematic international review effort.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Caribbean Region / epidemiology
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / trends
  • Latin America / epidemiology
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration
  • Mass Screening / trends
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines