Bristol-Myers Squibb ‘Secure the Future’ Foundation

Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among South African women. Only half of women in South Africa are screened for cervical cancer at the recommended intervals. In addition:

  • HIV-infected women are more likely to be diagnosed with cervical pre-cancer than uninfected women,
  • women living with HIV are 4-6 times more at risk of developing cervical cancer and
  • HIV-infected women on antiretroviral therapy (ART) now have longer life expectancies, which increase the burden of chronic disease, including cervical cancer.

In 2017, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Secure the Future Foundation committed just over R15 million to a chronic care initiative in rural KwaZulu-Natal focused on:

addressing cervical cancer

other chronic diseases

Right to Care was the main implementing partner. Two sub-recipients helped implement the programme:

The project ran for two and a half years and closed out in 2019.

Education, screening – men and women

The chronic care initiative focused on men and women. They were given information about HIV, tuberculosis (TB), common cancers and non-communicable diseases and then screened for these conditions.
To reach and screen affected and vulnerable individuals, Right to Care and its sub-recipients worked with:

regional and district Departments of Health (DoH)


women’s groups

faith-based organizations

Nurses were trained on cervical cancer screening and doctors were trained on removing cervical tissue for examination and treatment of precancerous cells. Mobile clinics helped reach women in remote areas. Data collection was implemented to improve follow-up of patients.
The initiative played a key role in helping Bristol-Myers achieve their goals through:

capacity building

improvement in the quality of health services and resources to help prevent a variety of cancers

Treating health seriously, caring, making treatment available in South Africa and abroad.

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