Malaysian Doctor Wins International Award For Cervical Cancer Research & Advocacy

She is the first Southeast Asian to win this prestigious award.

Cover image via ROSE Foundation (Provided to SAYS) & The Sun Daily

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Universiti Malaya's Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Prof Dr Woo Yin Ling, has won the prestigious 2023 Rachel Pearline Award in recognition of her global contribution to cancer research and practice in low- and middle-income countries

According to a statement yesterday, 5 April, Rose Foundation said that the 50-year-old doctor had conceptualised and executed Program ROSE (Removing Obstacles to cervical ScrEening), an innovative cervical screening programme incorporating human papillomavirus (HPV) sampling. 

The programme was launched in January 2019, by then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Woman, Family, and Community Development, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail.

ROSE Foundation, which aims to make Malaysia one of the first countries in the region to be free of cervical cancer, the second most common cancer among Malaysian women below 44 years of age.

Since 2019, the programme has screened more than 23,000 women throughout Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak, with most of them from the underprivileged and underserved community.  

Prof Dr Woo is the first Southeast Asian to win this award

"It is a great honour for Malaysia. This recognition is a testament that Malaysians can achieve so much if we work together. Program ROSE is the culmination of a huge collaborative effort from many Malaysians who believe in the vision of a cervical cancer-free Malaysia,” she said upon receiving her award.

The Rachel Pearline Award is named after Dr Rachel Pearline, an American who was a respected oncology fellow. She died at the age of 38 in November 2015 from gastric cancer.

Every year, in her honour, the Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research (ASGCR) Steering Committee invites nominations for the award and chooses one outstanding professional who embodies virtue and eminence in cancer research, practice, and/or training in a low- and middle-income country.

The ASGCR is the flagship meeting of the United States' National Cancer Institute Center for Global Health. 

It brings people in global oncology together to discuss trends in global cancer research and control, as well as map out collaborative efforts to move the field forward.

Image via The Sun Daily

Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women in Malaysia:

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