On Thursday, 17 November 2022, we celebrated the second anniversary of the launch of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Strategy to End the World's First Cancer - Cervical Cancer. Slovenia's commitment to end cervical cancer was marked again this year, on the evening of 16 November, by illuminating Slovenian landmarks in teal, the symbolic colour of cervical cancer. The illumination of landmarks demonstrates the unity of 194 countries in this historic and global commitment to end cervical cancer. Given the outstanding results of the ZORA program, Slovenia could even become one of the first European countries to succeed in this feat.
On November 17, we also virtually hosted the 12th traditional Educational day of the National Cervical Cancer Screening Programme ZORA with international participation. The educational day was attended by over 600 gynaecologists, nurses, cytopathologists, histopathologists, epidemiologists and other collaborators of the Programme ZORA.
The participants were greeted by Andraž Jakelj, Acting Director General of the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana, Irena Oblak, Medical Director of the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana, Azra Herceg, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Health, Karmen Janša, representative of The Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia, Alenka Kolar, Acting Director-General at the Directorate for Digitalisation in Healthcare, Aiga Rurane, head of WHO Country Office in Slovenia and Urška Ivanuš, head of National Cervical Cancer Screening Programme and Registry ZORA.
In the first section lecturers presented the results of the ZORA programme in 2021/2022, future plans and renewed annual reports for the gynaecologists and laboratories. Renowned international expert Marc Arbyn presented the current state of European cervical cancer screening policies.
In the second section, speakers presented new international recommendations on cervical cancer screening and screening algorithms in some countries that have already introduced HPV screening and have learnt lessons from it. This was followed by an overview of new developments in decision-making for cervical cancer treatment and approaches for follow-up of women after cervical cancer treatment. The session concluded with a review of data on HPV prevalence in women and men and a presentation of the results of a simulation of 968 screening strategies using the Dutch MISCAN mathematical model for cost-effectiveness presented by Dutch experts with whom we jointly developed Slovenian models for all three screening programmes and carried out the simulation.
In the third section, the focus was on cervical cancer elimination with an overview of the results and innovations in the field of HPV vaccination and a presentation of the project to increase the screening of women in the ZORA programme in the municipality of Osilnica, with the involvement of the local community. The 12th ZORA Day was concluded with a presentation on how the ZORA programme takes care of the protection of personal data in accordance with the legislation and with the desire to maximise the use of data for the purpose of improving the ZORA programme and research.
Opening speakers at the 12th ZORA Day
Some of last year's impressions of the first anniversary of the launch of the WHO Global Strategy are collected in the 2021 Photo Report, and highlights from around the world have been compiled by WHO in a video: The World Glows Teal for Cervical Cancer Elimination.
The National Cervical Cancer Screening Programme ZORA would like to thank everyone who was a part of this great day.
Until next year!