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India, US ties: Biswal to visit India to discuss strategic ties

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nisha desai biswal

Washington: US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal is headed to India to make preparations for the first India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in Washington in September.

Biswal, who will be in New Delhi July 16-17, “will meet with senior Indian government officials to discuss shared priorities and increased US-India cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as upcoming engagements,” a State Department announcement said.

The first Strategic and Commercial Dialogue announced after the January summit between President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will showcase Indo-US cooperation “from outer space to cyberspace.”

To be co-hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, the dialogue will also provide “a new platform to build on past results and work toward future progress,” Biswal said at an event to mark the tenth anniversary of India-US nuclear deal Monday.

Over the next ten years, India and US will work toward greater convergence on trade, she said.

In 2005, bilateral trade was less than $30 billion – today it is over $100 billion, and the two countries want to get that to $500 billion.

The two sides will also continue to bring international pressure on terrorist groups around the world who target Indians and Americans alike, Biswal, one of the many officials of Indian heritage in the Obama administration, said.

Over the next ten years, India and US, she said, “will build upon their Joint Vision for the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean Region to promote regional development, a rules-based order, and trade that is free and fair.”

“In September, our first US-Japan-India ministerial will move us closer to this goal as we strengthen our cooperation on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and economic connectivity,” Biswal said.

As India will need to provide 400 million of its citizens with reliable energy, the US and India through their clean energy partnerships have mobilised nearly $3 billion dollars in renewable energy investments since 2009, she said.

(IANS)

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HPV Vaccination May Bring An End To Cervical Cancer In India by 2070

Combining high uptake of the HPV vaccine and cervical screening could eliminate cervical cancer as a public health hazard in 149 out of 181 countries by 2100 and up to 13 million cases of cervical cancer by 2050.

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cancer
Cervical cancer is the fourth-most common cancer among women, with an estimated 570,000 new cases diagnosed worldwide in 2018, of which around 85 per cent occur in less developed nations. Pixabay

Human papillomavirus (HPV) screening and vaccination must be taken up on a war footing in countries like India to prevent 15 million cervical cancer deaths among women by 2050, a Lancet research said.

Causing the second-highest number of deaths among Indian women among cancer variants, cervical cancer, in a majority of cases, is caused by HPV, a group of more than 150 viruses.

The efforts might even result in cervical cancer being eliminated as a public health hazard in India by 2070-79, according to the study, published in The Lancet Oncology journal.

Combining high uptake of the HPV vaccine and cervical screening could eliminate cervical cancer as a public health hazard in 149 out of 181 countries by 2100 and up to 13 million cases of cervical cancer by 2050.

Cancer
“Awareness about cervical cancer is extremely poor among common people; that makes containing the disease a challenge,” Anjila Aneja, Director at Fortis La Femme, New Delhi, told IANS. Pixabay

If the high coverage of HPV vaccination and cervical screening cannot be achieved globally, over 44 million women could be diagnosed with cervical cancer in the next 50 years with two-thirds of these cases and an additional estimated 15 million deaths, would occur in countries with low and medium levels of development.

“More than two thirds of cases prevented would be in countries with low and medium levels of human development like India, Nigeria, and Malawi, where there has so far been limited access to HPV vaccination or cervical screening,” said lead author Professor Karen Canfell from the Cancer Council New South Wales in Australia.

However, large disparities exist in cervical screening and HPV vaccination coverage among countries.

“Awareness about cervical cancer is extremely poor among common people; that makes containing the disease a challenge,” Anjila Aneja, Director at Fortis La Femme, New Delhi, told IANS.

“While societal barriers prevent women from seeking medical help in advance, women are forced to come out at a later stage when the disease has reached an advanced stage,” she said.

cancer
Screening and broad-spectrum HPV vaccines could potentially prevent up to 84-90 per cent of cervical cancers, the study said. Pixabay

However, Canfell says that despite the enormity of the problem, their findings suggest that “global elimination is within reach with tools that are already available, provided that both high coverage of HPV vaccination and cervical screening can be achieved.

Cervical cancer is the fourth-most common cancer among women, with an estimated 570,000 new cases diagnosed worldwide in 2018, of which around 85 per cent occur in less developed nations.

Screening and broad-spectrum HPV vaccines could potentially prevent up to 84-90 per cent of cervical cancers, the study said.

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“Diagnostic tests such as the pap smear are effective in identifying cancerous tendencies.

“However, these tests are available with a limited number of providers and largely within the cities. This makes screening sporadic and leaves out women who live in rural areas,” Aneja added. (IANS)