First Lady Jeannette Kagame has called for equitable access to health interventions in the fight against cervical cancer for member states of the Commonwealth, regardless of income classifications. She was speaking at the Commonwealth spouses event, on May 5, organized on the sidelines of the coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as king and queen of the United Kingdom. ALSO READ: Mrs Kagame commends new cervical cancer prevention programme for middle-aged women “Solidarity, community, common, wealth must and will prove themselves stronger than preventable diseases,” Mrs. Kagame said. With emphasis on figures that indicate that Rwanda has more than 50 percent women in leadership positions in ministries, and 61 percent in parliament, she explained the need to have women at the centre for growth. “We acknowledge that having women in these highlevel, decision-making positions, allows for the full recognition of gender sensitive issues, where they were once overlooked, minimized, or simply misunderstood.” According to her, this has resulted in taking bold steps towards eliminating cervical cancer as a public health problem, as early as 2030. ALSO READ: Cervical cancer: First Lady roots for reduced HPV vaccine prices In 2011, Rwanda launched a national Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programme targeting 12-year-old girls and it has covered 90 percent of them so far. For the past five years, 30 percent of eligible women were screened for cervical cancer. In addition, the decentralization of treatment of precancerous lesions has allowed 92 percent of women in need to receive treatment at the level of primary health care facilities. “All in all, while there is considerable room for growth, and a single cervical cancer fatality remains one too many in these modern times, there is cause for joy too, because of the progress secured thus far,” the First Lady noted. She highlighted that advocacy and expansion of awareness, combined with willingness to have such important conversations and drive the necessary campaigns, can be splendid catalysts of change in health responsiveness. “We can visualize the fairest situation, for all of us - one in which all member states of our Commonwealth, benefit from equitable access to lifesaving screenings, medicine and vaccines, at the same rate as every other nation, regardless of income classifications.” She added that they owe the next generation an immediate and rapid action.