Basic Health International is dedicated to the eradication of cervical cancer through early prevention and treatment. The vast majority of cervical cancer cases are caused by infections of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that develop into detectable precancerous lesions. While these lesions are completely treatable, cervical cancer remains a leading cause of cancer death in many countries around the world, with 90% of the mortality disproportionately affecting women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
BHI was founded in the late 1990s, when Dr. Miriam Cremer, who at the time was still in medical school, started a modest cervical cancer screening campaign in El Salvador. Today, Dr. Cremer is joined by a team of physicians and public health experts committed to reducing cervical cancer morbidity and mortality on a global scale. BHI’s vision is a world where no woman dies from cervical cancer. Thus far, BHI has screened and/or treated more than 50,000 women and trained over 1,500 healthcare providers. The organization has expanded its focus to include designing and implementing cutting-edge research that allows innovative science to help some of the most vulnerable women in the world. Dr. Cremer and BHI have received prestigious grants from world-renowned institutions, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) and the Rising Tide Foundation.
Funded projects have focused on the development of low-cost screening and treatment alternatives for cervical precancer that can reach patients in isolated and/or resource-poor environments. Currently, BHI is operating clinical trials and programs in El Salvador, Peru, Colombia, and Haiti, with funding for additional projects in Mexico and Antigua. BHI hopes that their research will result in a world where no woman dies of cervical cancer, an entirely preventable disease.