The first EUROGIN congress in eastern Europe: clinicians and scientists meet in Prague to review progress in prevention and control of cervical cancer

WHO

Dr Gunta Lazdane, Manager of WHO/Europe's sexual and reproductive health programme, and Professor J. Monsonego, Chairman of the EUROGIN Scientific Committee

Each year, the European Research Organization on Genital Infections and Neoplasm (EUROGIN) organizes an international multidisciplinary congress. The 2012 congress, held 8–11 July in Prague, Czech Republic, focused on recent developments in prevention and management of cervical cancer and other diseases linked with HPV (human papillomavirus). Special attention was paid to progress in cervical cancer prevention and management in countries of eastern and central Europe, where 30 000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed every year.

In their welcome message to participants, Congress Presidents X. Bosch, S. Francrschi and S. Syrjänen stated "EUROGIN travels to eastern Europe and invites a detailed discussion on the frontiers of diseases related to HPV, while continuing to investigate the novel preventive opportunities worldwide".

Professor J. Monsonego, Chairman of the Scientific Committee, complemented WHO for its support in presenting the challenges of cervical cancer prevention and management as a public health issue. He encouraged policy-makers and health care providers to participate in future EUROGIN congresses and to make use of the interactive course on HPV-associated diseases developed by the Organization for clinicians of all disciplines. The course is easily accessible online and available in five languages.

Dr Gunta Lazdane, Manager of WHO/Europe's sexual and reproductive health programme, presented an overview of progress in cervical cancer prevention in the WHO European Region focusing on the countries of eastern and central Europe that have recently introduced organized screening and included HPV vaccine in their national immunization programmes. She also outlined the Action Plan for implementation of the European Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2012–2016 and the new European health strategy Health 2020.

Many speakers confirmed the importance of WHO's work in prevention of cervical cancer and they noted the challenge shared by the countries represented of reaching women in all population groups.