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Public Health

Women’s health is a public health priority area globally as well as in the World Health Organisation (WHO) European Region. It has been a subject of discussion in recent years among medical professionals and the general public. Unfortunately, according to findings published in the latest issue of The Lancet Global Health journal, the Baltic States have one of the highest incidence and mortality from cervical cancer in Europe. New and innovative solutions are required to address the grim situation constructively.

In February 2020 the Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) Institute of Public Health initiated a research project "Towards elimination of cervical cancer: intelligent and personalised solutions for cancer screening" within the framework of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014–2021 Baltic Research Programme. The aim of the project is to determine the subgroup of women who run an increased risk of developing cervical cancer and to develop the artificial intelligence technology needed for simple and effective personalised cervical cancer screening. The duration of the project is 4 years.

The first meeting of the project partners took place in Tallinn (Estonia) on 5 February 2020. Representatives of all project partner-organisations were present – University of Tartu (Estonia), Cancer Registry of Norway (Norway), RSU (Latvia), Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (Lithuania). Anda Ķīvīte-Urtāne, the project's coordinator, and researchers Una Kojalo and Jana Žodžika represented the RSU Institute of Public Health. The aim of the meeting was to introduce the entire research team to the current epidemiological situation regarding cervical cancer within the project member states and to agree upon the distribution of responsibilities and time-frame the research is to be conducted within.

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To promote public interest about the project and its realisation, the relevant information will be published on the project's Facebook page and a dedicated website to be developed shortly.